Winter has well and truly closed in on us here in Melbourne, where we are experiencing a real cold snap! And the germs sure are multiplying. Immune system resilience is on the forefront of most peoples minds as we settle into this season, and has been a hot topic over the past couple of years for obvious reasons.
So what can we do to build immune system resilience to all of the bugs flying around?
If you are looking for tips to keep yourself and your family's immune systems strong this winter then please read on.
- Avoid or reduce refined sugar. Refined sugar dampens immune system function, meaning that it will reduce the immune systems ability to mount a defence against pathogens.
- Increase antioxidant intake through a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Focus on 'eating the rainbow' in order to get all of the phytochemicals your body needs to be well resourced to fight any pathogens that comes it's way.
- Reduce stress. Stress has a detrimental effect on immune system health and suppresses immune system function. Try implementing regular meditation or relaxation practices to unwind and de-stress, and ease the burden on your immune system.
- Get adequate Vitamin D through fifteen minutes of sunshine exposure each day, and/or supplementation with Vitamin D during the winter months. (Please consult your healthcare provider on this).
- Zinc is an important mineral in building and maintaining immunity. Zinc can be found in foods such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oats - all of which can be found in our Nourish Granola. Also chickpeas, lentils, beans, mushrooms, quinoa, brown rice, avocado and spinach are great sources.
- Get enough sleep. Aim to be in bed by 10pm at the latest, and sleep for eight hours for a strong and healthy immune system.
Though none of us are superhuman, implementing the above suggestions will give you a fighting chance at keeping the bugs at bay so that you can enjoy the winter months.
Take care and stay well!
Written by Claire Andrews-Siwak - Naturopath and Nib + Noble Co-owner