With the temperatures quickly dropping and with winter approaching, cold and flu season is upon us. Therefore, this means that many of us will sooner or later capitulate to its dreaded sore throat, sneezes, painful coughs, and sick days in bed.
This isn’t what winter is supposed to be about! Winter is supposed to be about cozy sweaters, warm fireplaces, cuddles, and delicious hot chocolate. Not stuffy noses and sick days. But no matter where you live in the world, somehow the winter months always come with feeling under the weather. And if you’re anything like me, then chances are you want to prevent any type of illness to the best of your ability!
Therefore, I’ve been focusing on taking more of a natural approach when it comes to preventing and healing this winter. Fortunately, there are numerous scientifically proven natural remedies that can aid in boosting your immune system and preventing common illnesses. With that, below are a couple of ways that you can boost your immunity and heal your body naturally this season.
1. Power up with superfoods
A healthy diet is vital!
When you’re sick or not feeling well, your body is in dire need of proper nutrients in order to heal. With that, you want to be mindful of what you are intaking. Try to avoid inflammatory foods such as ones that are high in simple/starchy carbohydrates and sugar since they can obstruct gut healing and overall gut health.
Therefore, you want to focus on nutrient-dense and easy to digest foods such a bone broth, chicken soup, green juice/smoothies, and tea. All of which have magical healing powers to boost your immune system and fight against the cold and flu season. Additionally, ingredients such as garlic and honey have immune-strengthening antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They are also known as natural decongestants.
I’ve also mentioned this in various other blog posts, but I cannot tell you enough how powerful and extremely beneficial turmeric and ginger are! Both of these ingredients help to reduce inflammation, which in turn, aids in strengthening your immune system. The best part, you can add these natural warming ingredients to various other foods and drinks! Such as soups, teas, and broths.
Related Post: “10 Natural Healing and Weight Loss Teas”
2. Get enough ZZZ’s
When you’re sick, your body needs several extra hours of rest per day to heal and revitalize. Therefore, if you want to recover quickly, take this to heart and don’t exert yourself too much. If you’re feeling tired, it’s your body telling you to slow down and close your eyes!
On the other hand, sleep is important for preventing the common cold and other illnesses as well. This is because a lack of sleep can greatly affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick (source).
3. Boost your immunity with supplements
Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc are powerful supplements that we need to take daily in order to boost our immune system and prevent illness. Especially throughout the winter months. Vitamin D is incredibly important for maintaining a healthy immune system. That being said, a deficiency in vitamin D is linked to many autoimmune and chronic diseases. Up your intake by eating foods like salmon and eggs or by taking specific vitamin D supplements like fish oil.
Along with that, zinc has been proven to be the most effective mineral for immunity – and the best way to prevent and cure a common cold. You can find high levels of zinc in foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, and other protein-rich foods. But you can also supplement with vitamins!
4. Daily tonics
Just as I mentioned in tip #1, superfoods that contain powerful ingredients and adding in daily tonics are essential for immune health this winter. They’re important to incorporate since they prevent sickness, promote hydration, and improve overall gut health. However, you may be wondering what a “tonic” even is. A tonic is a ‘medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being.’ (source) With that, these are 3 of my favorite tonic recipes:
- Bone Broth: This nutritious and easy to make drink includes all of the essential immunity-boosting superfoods! Such as collagen, zinc, electrolytes, and amino acids for a healthy gut and digestive system. Check out this recipe for bone broth right here!
- Lemon, Ginger, and Turmeric Wellness Shot Recipe: This mighty wellness shot takes 5-minutes to prep, contains loads of Vitamin C, and is an easy way to add ginger and turmeric into your everyday diet. As mentioned previously, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which boasts amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that’s known to aid digestion and relieve nausea. Along with that, lemon is naturally detoxifying and alkalizing in the body, aids in healthy bowel movements, and boasts plenty of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Get this easy-to-make and total immune-boosting wellness shot recipe right here!
- Golden Milk: This drink recipe contains turmeric, ginger, cardamom, ashwagandha, milk (any choice, but I use almond milk), and a little black pepper. It is the perfect evening wellness recipe to drink right before bed in order to decrease stress and prevent sickness!
5. Take care of your gut health
Probiotics are a huge component of gut health and your overall well-being! In fact, did you know that over 70% of your immune system located in your gut?! This is why gut health is so important especially in the winter months when our immune systems can become affected. Keep your gut health in check by upping your daily/weekly intake of dark leafy greens and fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir (yogurt), and kimchi.
Sugary foods also cause inflammation of the gut lining in your stomach. Therefore, try to avoid sugary foods as much as possible! Additionally, as I mentioned, taking daily probiotics is also an incredible way to be proactive about your gut health.
Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits! For instance, your digestive system needs the healthy bacteria from the probiotic to keep it functioning properly and efficiently! Processed foods, diets rich in sugar, high levels of stress, and years of unhealthy eating habits can cause the balance of your gut’s good-to-bad bacteria ratio to be completely out of whack!
That is why adding a high-quality probiotic supplement to your daily supplement regime is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellness and gut health!
6. Manage your stress
This may sound a little annoying and over said, but managing stress is a major component in our overall health. High levels of physical, emotional, and mental stress, including negativity, can deplete your body’s absorption of important minerals. Which as a result, lowers your immune defense and makes you more susceptible to illness.
Therefore, I find that meditation, daily gratitude, and frequent exercise all play an important role in managing stress. Also, since it is around the holidays, listening to a little Christmas music really improves my mood and decreases stress and anxiety as well! But maybe that’s just me. 😋
7. Up your water intake
This is a given, but I find it crucial to bring it up any chance that I get! I know you’ve heard this time and time again but it is all for good reason. Clear liquids (primarily: water, broth, and herbal teas) all help to keep your body hydrated and fight against illnesses and infections. Not to mention, clear liquids help to replenish lost fluids from fever and mucus production. In this case, you definitely want to avoid access amounts of caffeine and alcohol as well, since they can cause dehydration.
8. Stay active
Daily exercise is a very important aspect of health and wellness as we all know. However, sweating, when working out or from sitting in a sauna, increases your internal body temperature. This makes it harder for germs to hang around and spread. Also, sweating gets rid of toxins building up in the body and increases your body’s white blood count. That being said, a steady-state walk on the treadmill or taking the day off to go to the spa may just be what your body needs!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Let’s promote health and wellness by boosting our immunity in a natural way this winter!