The weather is shifting, and we are quickly moving into cold and flu season.
To boost your immunity and proactively protect yourself from a nasty cold or flu in the coming months, here are some helpful tips.
- Stay hydrated. Make soups and healing broths (preferably from scratch with fresh veggies and herbs) and enjoy them throughout the week during the fall and winter seasons. Drink hot herbal teas like green tea, ginger, and echinacea daily. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times and drink it throughout the day.
- Consume protein with each meal. The body’s building blocks are made of proteins and your immune system needs healthy protein to function at its fullest capacity. Make sure you are eating organic, clean and lean animal protein or plant based protein (legumes, nuts/seeds) with each meal and snack.
- Avoid simple sugars. Simple sugars, like those found in sweet treats, desserts, white flour, and refined grain products suppress your immune system for hours after they are consumed. Say no to these foods to protect your immune system!
- Use a nasal saline rinse on a daily basis. Flushing your sinuses with a saline solution helps to keep mucous membranes moist and protects you from microbes.
- Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in phytonutrients that boost immunity. Choose from leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower, sweet potatoes and winter squash. Aim for 3-4 servings of fruits and 7+ servings of vegetables.
- Spice up your meals. Spices are amazing! Add these mighty condiments to your food to support your immune system. Garlic, onions, and turmeric offer wide spectrum antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Get your sweat on. Mild to moderate exercise (aim for approximately 30-45 minutes a day) helps to boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses.
- Sleep tight. Aim for 7-8 hours a night – getting your zzzzs ensures that your immune system is in tip-top shape. Now that the days are shorter, try to get in bed earlier.