Winter means snow dusted mountain tops, mittens, warming soups, and… colds and flus. During the winter viruses seem to be lurking around every corner, taking down all those with a weakened immunity. To help spare you from a pesky cold or flu, here are some ways your can help boost your immunity, and give your body the extra kick it needs to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
1. Reduce Stress
This is key to helping boost your immunity. If you are stressed it affects your body on so many levels, depleting your immunity being one of them.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to reduce the level of stress in your life:
- Make time to breathe – Finding a few minutes in a day to just focus on your breathing will help you relax and de-stress.
- Do Yoga – Stretching helps loosen your body, and your mind.
- Meditate – It may seem hokey, but it works. Taking some quiet time to clear your head of all the thoughts that are filling it is one of the most therapeutic actions you can make. If you’ve never meditated before, I recommend picking up a guiding meditation CD to help get you in the habit.
- Avoid alcohol – This can be hard for some at first, but if you struggle with stress you should definitely consider cutting down your alcohol intake, it’s a known stressor.
- Listen to music – It’s true what they say, music heals. It can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate and your level of anxiety. So crank up the tunes and let music take you to another, happier place.
2. Get Regular Moderate Exercise
Skipping your workout, especially if it’s because you’re stressed will have a negative impact on your immunity. If you’re feeling under the weather or like you’re fighting something off you can still do light workouts, such as a light 30-min cardio session, a yoga class, or even a group training class—with minimal weight lifting of course. However if you’re full blown sick, have a fever, chills or an infection, skip your workout and get some rest instead. There are some times when exercise is NOT what you need.
3. Eat Lots of Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions both have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and as a result are great for boosting your immune system.
4. Eats Superfoods Daily
The definition of a superfood is any food that contains a lot of nutrients to its caloric content.
Some of my favourite superfoods are:
- Dark leafy greens – These can easily be added to smoothies, soups, stews, or chopped up and added to rice or millet dishes
- Spirulina – Aka blue green algae powder, is high in protein, antioxidants, B vitamins and iron. It’s great added to smoothies that have bananas or mango in them—to cut through its bitterness. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and slowly build up to 1 teaspoon
- Berries – Goji berries, blueberries and acai berries are a few of my favourites. They are all great on their own as a snack or added to a smoothie. You can also add dried goji or acai berries to homemade trail mix
- Raw Cacao – High in antioxidants, excellent source of magnesium (craving chocolate is often a sign of magnesium deficiency) as well as rich in fibre and iron. I make homemade chocolate with it, add it smoothies, or roll energy balls in it. Make sure to buy Raw Cacao powder not cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is heated and missing all the good nutrients
- Coconuts – I LOVE anything coconut. When I start to run low on coconut oil I actually start to panic a little since I use it for so many things. Coconut oil is great for frying, baking, oil pulling, or used as a hair conditioner and/or make up remover. Coconut oil can boost your metabolism, is anti-aging, anti-viral and anti-fungal. You can also buy unsweetened shredded coconut and it add to your baking or smoothies. Coconut water is another great coconut product that can be added to smoothies.
5. Pick Up An Immunity Booster
This is only a good idea if you’re really feeling down, or have been picking up a lot of viruses lately. I use this one and take it whenever I feel a cold or flu coming on. It really does help.
If you have any questions about how to boost your immunity, or feel a cold coming on and want extra tips to help nip it in the butt, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to happy and healthy!