How To Boost Your Immunity Naturally This Winter

Author: Jay Elliot   Date Posted:31 May 2018 

Winter wellness and immunity is usually more harmonious when we organize our environment and diet to compliment naturally occurring changes. Focusing on the following natural ways to boost your immunity will help keep you healthy this Winter.

Keep Warm

Maintaining body temperature may appear to be obvious although it is frequently overlooked when considering wellness and immune function. Extra blankets on beds and ample clothing is a good way to ensure your body is using its resources for immune function and not struggling to just keep you warm. If you are running a fan or ducted heating, consider giving it a good clean and the same goes for environmental dust which can often have your nose running and quickly lead to infections.

Choose Food Wisely

As the body requires more energy to maintain body temperature during winter, it’s quite natural for people to want to eat more. Whilst refined carbohydrates can provide some of this energy it’s important to include a wide variety of healthy whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, meats or vegetarian / vegan protein substitutes. Baking provides warmth to the home and there's nothing better than a comfort food in winter' using quality ingredients like wholgrain flours or nuts and seeds or bread and cake mixes. Hearty breakfast cereals like oats or muesli and gluten-free options like gluten free porridge  are a great way to start the day. 

Use Food As Medicine

Some key nutrients to include when using foods as medicine include vitamin A and beta-carotene food sources such as carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin, vitamin C foods like red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and oranges. Depending on storage methods vitamin C content can vary in foods so it’s worth considering a vitamin C supplement to maintain levels over winter. Zinc is also a vital nutrient for immune function and food sources include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cacao and beef or lamb. Once again, you may want to consider a zinc supplement if indicated. Protein is always important but during winter the immune system may have more to deal with and needs the support of this vital macronutrient. If you are vegetarian or vegan then legumes are a good way to support daily requirements particularly if combined with nuts seeds or grains. Curries, roast vegetables and soups are the cornerstones of winter and warming herbs, roots or spices such as garlic, chilli, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, basil and rosemary can all be included in cooking. Reishi or Shittake mushrooms may also support immunity during winter as may the may mushroom powders.

Take Targeted Supplements

If you can’t quite manage that tropical holiday escape, then keep an eye on vitamin D levels. For most people it’s safe to take 1000IU of vitamin D daily over winter or higher levels if a blood test result suggests a deficiency. There are many other supplements which may help to boost your immunity this winter including Echinacea. We have some great qualified naturopaths and nutritionists in-store who can answer your questions regarding these. 

Keep Well Hydrated

Lastly, maintaining hydration during winter can be a challenge when our inclination is to steer clear of cold sources such as water. Many people need to consume around 2 litres of water daily. You can meet this target with a combination of tepid or room temperature water, soups, fruits or vegetables and juices or herbal teas which all add up to support daily hydration needs.

The best way to counter the winter blues is to embrace the season and consider what it really offers, a chance to hibernate with good foods, a splash of wine if that’s your choice and good company. Most importantly take time for the body to rest and digest. 

Speak with one of our practitioners about boosting your immunity naturally this Winter.

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