It seems the winter bugs have hit, my daughter has been really unwell all last week & it reminded me how important it is to take care of ourselves at this time of year so we can stay well & enjoy all the festivities.
Sharing my top tips for staying well over the festive season, below:
- Make sleep a priority – get to bed early when you can! Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to catching colds. A study from Brazil found lack of sleep can result in a substantial decrease in the white blood cells that help to fight infection in the body. You can read my tips on how to gain a quality nights sleep, if you need help here. You can boost the melatonin in your brain if you turn the lights down low an hour before you go to bed.
- Eat immunity boosting foods – Eating foods that are high in vitamin C will help keep your immune system strong, so include fruit & veg such as lemons, kiwifruit, peppers, garlic, ginger & broccoli in your weekly shop.
If you’re struggling to get the lots of fruit & veg into your daily diet, then try juicing. Try to add more veg than fruit. A blend of carrot, beetroot, spinach & lemon is a great stress-busting combination that will boost your immune system.
- Easy on the sugar! – Reduce your sugar intake as this can compromise your immune system. Read the labels on sauces, cereals & yogurts as there are a lot of hidden sugars in these products.
- Exercise – It’s vital to keep your workout regimen up during winter, I read a recent study which showed that a moderate level of regular exercise has a long-term cumulative effect on immune response. This can be as simple as a 20 minute brisk walk 5 times a week. Not overdoing it key here, as it will put the body under stress, but regular aerobic exercise is healthy.
- Stop smoking – I’m sure you already know this, but smoking significantly weakens your immune system. Easier said than done, but there is help out there, feel free to get in touch if you need some advice.
- Boost your gut – Our gut is the gateway to optimum health. I cannot recommend a good probiotic highly enough to boost the friendly bacteria in our gut, I recommend this all year round, but winter time especially. 70% of our immune system is in our gut, so feeding it with the right foods & supplements is key to super health.
Despite doing all of this great stuff sometimes we still feel like we are coming down something…so here’s a few things you can do to recover quickly:
- Eliminate all dairy products.
- Eliminate all alcohol.
- Boost your Vitamin C (with bioflavanoids) intake when you initially feel something coming on.
- Boost your intake of Zinc.
- Increase water consumption (even more than normal!).
- Eat less food as this will give your body a much needed rest from digestion & give it a chance to concentrate on fighting off potential bugs.
- Add Echinacea to your supplemental regime.
- Get more rest than normal. If you normally get 6 hours of sleep a night, try increasing it to 7 or 8.
Wishing you all a healthy, fun & fabulous build up to christmas.