5 tips to fire up your immunity this winter
In these times of uncertainty, let’s focus on the things we can influence. When it comes to our health, we can take little steps to boost our body’s immune defenses to give ourselves the best chance to remain healthy all winter. So these 5 tips to fire up your immunity this winter will show you how making small changes can help you and your family.
1. Fire up your immunity with a colourful breakfast
When time is of the essence, it is a reflex for most people to grab a piece of toast for breakfast. Wholegrain bread is nutritious and the humble toast can become a breakfast of champion. All you need to add to it is some protein like a nut butter (almond or walnut are great) and also some fruit for added antioxidants (almond butter and pear work very well together). This is because antioxidants that are found in colourful fruit and vegetables can help us improve our immune response when infections come our way. (1)
Another idea is to include vegetables in your breakfast. Recently, I shared 8 immune-boosting recipes and one recipe is a sweet potato and coconut porridge. One of the main nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that it is high in an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. You can access the recipes HERE.
If you like eggs, they make a fantastic breakfast. Add a serving of greens like spinach or Swiss chard and a serving a shitake mushrooms, and this will definitely give you plenty of energy for the day.
2. Get to know your nutrients
The body requires an array of vitamins and minerals to function well. And the important point here is to maintain this balance in order to remain healthy. So, adopting a diet that includes a wide range of fruits and vegetables is likely to bring you the necessary nutrients you need. You can, of course, supplement your diet with nutrients that are known to support the immune function as well as general health. Some studies have found that deficiencies in zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E can alter immune responses.
My favourite winter ingredients to boost my health in the winter are orange-coloured fruit and vegetables like orange peppers, squash, sweet potato, carrots, oranges, tangerines and persimmons. To this, you can add spices like turmeric and ginger which are anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. And let’s not forget red lentils which are delicious in soups and stews.
If you wish to receive personal recommendations on supplementation for yourself or your family, feel free to get in touch.
3. Swap starchy carbs for veggies
Research shows that the more vegetables we eat, the less the risk of developing illnesses. So we should be aiming for 7 to 10 portions a day to ensure our body gets all it needs. Now, you may say, wow, that’s a lot!!
A great tip is to swap your evening carbs with vegetables. How? Well, you turn your vegetables into a pasta or rice replacement. Ever tried cauliflower or broccoli rice? Or cauliflower mash? Or courgette pasta? Or even cauliflower pizza? They are all really tasty. Here is a recipe for a cauliflower risotto. Since it is not asparagus season, you could replace those with other vegetables of your choice.
Do you need more ideas to increase your vegetable intake? I shared 7 habits to reach your 10 a day here.
4. Fire up your immunity with a healthy gut
Did you know that about 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? So this means that if you are experiencing any kind of digestive discomfort, this may compromise your ability to fight infections and illnesses. Addressing issues such as bloating, reflux, and any other IBS symptoms can not only help you recover your energy, it can also help you stay healthy long term.
You can read more information about my “Ultimate Gut Relief” programme here.
5. Give yourself permission to rest
This is a tricky one, especially for busy mums. Personally, I have to work on this all the time. To be strong for our families, we need to be strong for ourselves. When you allow yourself to sleep, walk in nature, meditate, or do nothing at all, you are giving your body a chance to repair and rejuvenate itself. We only have one body to take us through life. Just like a car, we need to take care of it. Even just 10 minutes of breathing time can make a huge difference in your day. Will you try?
I love helping women reduce tiredness and address digestive issues through drug-free, science-based nutritional recommendations to restore general health. To book a free discovery call, feel free to get in touch.