So here comes the fall and winter season again and as you know this is officially the cold and flu season. The colder temperatures and drier air allows the viruses to live longer outside the body and lowers the immunity of your respiratory system. That’s why you can catch a cold or flu easier in winter.
However, catching a cold or flu is not inevitable. It all depends on your immune system. Proper nutrition and ensuring adequate nutrient levels to support your immune system as well as quality sleep and rest can make a huge difference in your health.
There are so many natural ways to boost your immunity, allowing you to enjoy a happy winter with no sneezing, runny nose, headaches, body aches or sore throats.
Here are my top 6 nutrition and lifestyle tips to boost your immunity and stay healthy all winter:
1-Avoid sugar and high sugar foods as soda, candy and concentrated juices
Research has shown that within fifteen minutes of consuming 100 grams of sugar, the white cells lose 90 percent of its ability to fight disease. Furthermore sugar weakens your immune system because it promotes the growth of candida and harmful bacteria, and can cause candida and yeast overgrowth. This will compromise your intestinal health and ability to absorb nutrients from your food.
2-Get enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C is destroyed by heating or cooking foods so make sure to eat enough fresh raw vegetables and fruits. Excellent sources of vitamin C include lemons, bell peppers, kale, parsley, oranges, blueberries and apples. A high dose vitamin C supplement can boost immunity and abort any cold or flu if taken early before symptoms develop.
3-Get enough Zinc
Zinc is important for the health of the mucous membranes lining the respiratory passages. Zinc rich foods include pumpkin seeds, oysters and seafood, eggs, chicken, tuna, whole grains and legumes.
4-Optimize your blood levels of Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem and has been related to loweredimmunity and increased susceptibility to infections including colds and flu. In Toronto, it is difficult for most people to receive enough of the sun’s ultraviolet rays to form vitamin D, during the fall and winter seasons. Therefore a vitamin D supplement may be necessary. Ask your doctor for a blood test to check your vitamin D level and take the suitable dose accordingly.
5-Eat Foods with Antiviral Properties
My top foods to fight infections are ginger, garlic and raw honey. These are super foods that have natural antiviral and immune-boosting properties. Always have these foods available at home and eat them daily. Drinking a honey ginger lemon tea at the first sign of a cold is usually my first line of defense against colds. Adding ginger and garlic to your soups and stir fries is also an excellent way to boost your immunity.
6-Get enough Sleep
Lack of quality sleep and continuous stress can weaken your immunity. If you are sleep deprived and stressed all the time, this makes you more prone to infections and slows down your recovery. Make sure to get around 8 hours of good quality sleep each night and get enough rest if you feel tired or stressed. A chamomile or anise tea before bed has a relaxing effect and can help you distress and sleep easily.
I can assure you that following these simple nutrition and lifestyle tips will leave you with a healthy immune system that is capable of fighting any cold or infection. So don’t wait until you catch a cold, start now and enjoy a productive fall and winter season without a single sneeze or sniffle.
If you need help with your health and nutrition, CALL Healthy U Turn at 416 876 4634 to book an appointment OR Sign up for a FREE Clarity Session with Oakville holistic nutritionist, Dr Maha Nasr to discuss your health concerns and learn more about how we can help.