Top Tips for Fighting off Winter Colds and Bugs

With the winter months well and truly under way it is certainly a time of year where we lemon-waterneed to be taking extra care of our bodies and the environment we live into ensure we stay as healthy as possible and give our bodies the best chance at, keeping influenza at bay, and fighting off those nasty bugs that can knock us for six.

Here I have put together a list of some of the best ways to ensure you stay healthy during the colder months.

Here is a list of my top ten ways to boost your immunity:

1. Getting enough vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system, as according to eatingwell.com recent data suggests that low vitamin D levels could be linked to epidemic influenza. The best way to get vitamin D is through the sun on our skin so take every chance when the sun is shining to get outside during the winter months,to keep your vitamin D levels up. You may also want to look at taking a quality supplement while we get less natural sunlight.

2.Clean up your diet, and avoid processed foods that deplete your immune system and rather add in antioxidant rich superfoods such as cacao or spirulina which  are dense in nutrients and minerals and will help support your body's immune system. It is important to note that many people find dairy products cause a build up of mucus and lack of circulation in your sinuses which in turn can make you more susceptible to
viruses. So it maybe wise to limit your intake if you do feel a cold coming on or have problems with your sinuses.

rebounding3. Keeping active is also crucial for your immunity, as it improves circulation and sweating allows your body to excrete toxins and therefore lessens the toxic load that your body has to deal with and gives it more chance to fight off sickness.Moderate exercise is best as you don't want to put too much stress on your body. A great option is to take up rebounding which helps to keep your lymph circulating which is vital for immunity. If you don't have a rebounder then you can always use your children's trampoline or you can just skip or hop for three or four minutes every day.

4.Support your immune system with herbs such as garlic and echinacea which are known for the germ fighting abilities. Be sure to use spices such as turmeric, cloves and nutmeg. Use more ginger , coriander, rosemary, thyme and other rich spices, all of which help to boost your immune system.

5. Increase your intake of vitamin C by drinking hot lemon water and you could even add in a spoonful of manuka honey (known for its' antimicrobial action against a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi),  by taking camu camu which is believed to be the richest source of vitamin C known to man and also take advantage of the seasonal fruits available such as mandarins, kiwis and oranges, all of which contain a great source of vitamin C.

6. Another mineral which is vital for a healthy immune system is zinc. .Double-
blind, placebo-controlled trials of daily zinc supplementation
demonstrated that zinc reduces the incidence and duration of acute and
chronic diarrhea by 25–30%  and can reduce the incidence of acute lower respiratory infections by 45%. Therefore eat foods which contain high levels of zinc, for example, red meats, or if you are a vegetarian pumpkin seeds and oats are both good sources of this crucial mineral.

7. Making sure your house is as chemical free as possible is critical for having a healthy immune system as chemicals increase our toxic load and prevent our bodies from functioning optimally. Therefore use as many natural cleaning products as possible. You can even make your own, using everyday products such as white vinegar and baking soda. Also avoid air fresheners that are chemically based.

8. Be sure to keep your hands and especially behind your nails as clean as possible by using a natural soap. The simple habit of washing your hands thoroughly can drastically reduce your chances of catching bugs and illnesses.

9. Reduce your stress levels wherever possible and be sure to be getting enough sleep, if you don't get enough sleep your body will have less energy stores to fight off illnesses, and similarly if you are stressed your immune system will become compromised as stress uses up more nutrients.

10. Drink freshly squeezed vegetable juices which will flood your body with nutrients and give it a great chance at keeping the nasties away.

If you are really struggling to remain healthy during the winter season then you may benefit from working with a naturopath who can help you to strengthen your immune system through lifestyle changes, dietary changes and supportive herbs.

What do you use to support your immune system, are there any remedies that your swear by? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear what get you through the colder months.

Sources for this article

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373990
http://naturalnews.com/037510_flu_season_immunity_colds.html
http://www.eatingwell.com/can_getting_enough_vitamin_d_help_my_immune_system

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/68/2/447S.full.pdf

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=115