It’s that time of the year again, when the first colds and flu of the season start to appear. Our lifestyle and nutrition can have an influence on our immune system and the way we responds to minor illnesses. Have you ever noticed how we always seems to catch colds and bugs, when we are run down, stressed or overworked? Diet plays a role too, and here are some nutritional and lifestyle advice to support our immune system this winter.
Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients to support our immune system, but somehow a bit overlooked these days. Kiwis, oranges, pineapples, lemons, berries, raw bell peppers, raw red cabbage, are some of the foods that we can eat this winter to make sure that we stock up in vitamin C.
It is important to notice that Vitamin C is a “water-soluble” vitamin, which means that our body cannot store it and we excrete the amount we don’t use through urine. For this reason it is important to eat Vitamin C rich foods on a daily basis. Vitamin C is also a heat sensitive vitamin, which means that it can be destroyed through cooking, so during the winter months when we naturally relish more cooked foods, it is important to make sure to incorporate this important nutrient in our diet.
Zinc is also a essential element for our immune system. Pumpkins seeds and seafood are some of zinc richest foods, especially oysters. Red meat, poultry, beans and mushrooms are also a good source. You ca try scatter some pumpkins seeds on your soups or breakfast bowl for an easy zinc boost. ( head over to my blog for some easy soups and low sugar gluten-free breakfast bowl)
Gut friendly bacteria. Our guts are the home of trillions of bacteria which play an important role in modulating an immune response, so looking after our gut health is good too. If you recently have had anti-biotics or have been stressed out, you might want to include some pro-biotics rich foods like yogurt or kefir in your diet.
Exercise. Physical activity is important for a healthy body, but when we feel run down or feel that a cold is coming up, pumping iron at the gym, might not be the best choice. More soothing and restorative activities like yoga or Pilates, might be more indicated.They keep us moving, but they also have a calming effect on the nervous system switching us to the parasympathetic system (the opposite of flight and fight) and stimulating the lymphatic system that help us get rid of toxins, thus tapping into the body natural recovery resources.
Want to know more? Join my community to receive tips & recipes, or head over to my blog to read my healing “Pumpkin & winter spice soup” and my healing kale recipe.
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