Winter is a coming and although it’s exciting for many reasons, it also means we’ll be spending more time indoors and less time in the fresh air and sunshine. Overall, making ourselves much more susceptible to the chills and ills of winter.
The last thing we want in winter is to catch the seasonal cold, but with all the extra time indoors, we’re almost guaranteed to be exposed to a friend, work colleague, child or partner who’s got the dreaded sniffle or cough.
So in an effort to prevent getting yourself caught up with the winter chills, we’ve come up with our top 5 ways to help strengthen your immune system and keep you feeling your BEST.
This is an easy one to forget in winter. We’re generally not as thirsty (as the warmer months) so it’s important to find a way to get plenty of fluid in through your body throughout the day. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of warm water (it’s easier to absorb this way) and spice it up with some lemon, fresh ginger or turmeric, or sip on herbal teas (caffeine-free) which can also give you a nutrient hit. Try our Wake-Up Tonic first thing in the morning – this will give your immune system and metabolism a seriously good boost – plus it’s warming and nourishing, mmm.
2. Vitamin C
There’s a reason why it’s often the first thing we reach for when we start to feel a tickle in the throat. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant (meaning it helps to fight free radicals damaging our precious cells). Vitamin C is available in MANY whole food sources- namely the seasonal fruits and vege of winter…hooray! However, as it’s very sensitive to heat and cooking (particularly boiling) we often lose a lot of the benefits present.
To ensure you’re not forgetting your Vit’ C intake – taking a good quality supplement can be helpful in upping your dosage and warding off those nasties.
An easy way to remember is to have a few of the chewable Vitamin C tablets by Red Seal on hand. The 500mg Vitamin C – Blackcurrant tabs are a wonderful option to keep in your drawer at work, the glove box or handbag. These can be taken at any time of the day and will provide you with a hefty dose per tablet.
3. Eat What’s In Season
Again, this may seem obvious – but can be hugely beneficial. Nature has provided us with Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables for the winter months, so it’s important to consume these as the bulk of your daily eats. We’re lucky to have an abundance of beautiful kiwifruit in NZ (golden & green), mandarins, oranges, lemons and grapefruits – these are all incredibly nutrient-dense. Vegetables such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, spinach and cabbage are also packed with the nutrients you need to keep your immune system strong. Try making soups, salads, stirfries and smoothies and pack them full of vegetables.
4. Sleep & Rest
This is one of the most underrated and simple ways to boost your immunity. Ensuring you get a solid and quality amount of sleep every night will not only do wonders for your immune system but it will regulate your moods, your appetite and your general sense of wellbeing. It is SO important and is often pushed aside when we’re working with deadlines or stress, but it needs to be top priority. If you’re struggling to get quality sleep, try a restorative way to wind down – create a nighttime ritual for yourself where you prepare your body for sleep well before you make it to your sacred space (bed!)
5. Manage Stress
Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline weaken your immune system. So it’s important through the winter months especially to reduce stress in the body or mind and keep yourself feeling positive. If this is challenging for you, try something new – this might mean looking at your daily habits and reducing the stressors (perhaps too much caffeine or alcohol). Try a slower-paced yoga class, meditation or deep breathing techniques. Find what works for you and make an effort to find more balance and lightheartedness in your life.
This dietary supplement is available in the June Delight Box.