How To Boost Your Immunity This Winter

Check out these top tips to boost your immune system and keep yourself well during the chilly months.

 

  1. Boost your Zinc

Zinc plays a vitally important role in immune function, so make sure you are getting enough!

Where is Zinc found?

  • oysters
  • red meat
  • cashew nuts
  • chickpeas
  • eggs 
  • dairy

Here’s how to get what you need 

 

  1. Up your Vitamin A levels

Vitamin A plays an anti-inflammatory role in enhancing immune function.

There are two forms of Vitamin A found in food:

  • Preformed Vitamin A: egg yolks, liver, cod liver oil, salmon and cheese.
  • Proformed Vitamin A: orange kumara, pumpkin, carrots, kale, spinach and cabbage.

For more on Vitamin A, check this out

 

  1. Check your Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Well known as an antioxidant and to support skin health and immune function.

Best sources of Vitamin C: citrus fruits, kiwifruit, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, leafy greens, potato. 

Read more about Vitamin C here 

 

  1. Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is just as important as putting the right nutrients into your body. Research has shown that lack of sleep and stress (which go hand in hand) can impair our immune system making it even harder to fight off those winter bugs.

One major culprit of the sleep deprivation epidemic is our unhealthy obsession with technology. There is a growing body of research around sleep and its effect on our internal body clock (circadian rhythm), delaying melatonin hormone production and raising cortisol levels. Poor sleep also causes low blood sugar levels, making you more hungry and likely to crave sweet foods throughout the day. Like a hangover minus the alcohol!

Try these simple tips to promote a healthy night’s sleep:

  • Avoid technology 2 hours before bed, particularly phones, laptops and iPads.
  • Avoid stimulants after lunch - caffeine, alcohol, sweet foods.
  • Ensure you have a dark room - choose black out curtains to encourage melatonin production.
  • Pick up a book, take a bath and enjoy a cup of relaxing herbal tea like chamomile and meditation.

 

  1. Reduce stress levels

Excess cortisol (stress hormone) can suppress our immune system. Stress, combined with inadequate nutrients, lack of exercise and sleep may increase your vulnerability to catching the common cold and flu.

Are you burning the candle at both ends?  Try these simple self-care, stress reducing tips to help lower stress hormones:

  • diaphragm breathing
  • meditation
  • being in nature
  • reading
  • yoga 

This is a great quote :

“One day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self-created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy even amid the chaos” by Brendon Burchard.

 

  1. Get plenty of Vitamin D

While it may be chilly outside it’s still important to wrap up and get out as often as possible. Many of us spend most of our day indoors and get very little sun exposure. Vitamin D supports our immune system, bone health and mental wellbeing. It really is true that the sun makes us feel good!

The best way to optimise your Vitamin D intake is to get as much bare skin into the sun as you can. By this we mean sensible sun exposure, which for a fair person could be as little as 10 minutes.

There are also a few foods that provide some Vitamin D such as egg yolks, liver, salmon and dairy but sunlight is your best source!

Date

31.05.2019

Published By

Jess Fisk

Category

Articles

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