If you’re one of the many who seem to catch everything going around, it might be time to make sure your diet isn’t leaving you vulnerable.
It’s important to look at how well you’re placed to survive all the nasty bugs prevalent at this time of year. Check out these tips for winter wellness to help you fight against the onslaught.
Go for colour in fruit and vegetables
Make sure the majority of your diet is filled with a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, rich sources of powerful antioxidants that help protect the body’s cells against damage and infection.
Pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, oranges, red peppers, and beets are all great sources of nutrition and can either be juiced, thrown into stir-fries, or baked and served with warming casseroles and soup, perfect for some winter warmth!
Keep fluid intake way up
Many people drink less water in winter, but drinking tea is also hydrating—and also provides comfort and warmth. Green tea has the added benefit of being packed with immune-boosting antioxidants.
Don’t forget vitamin D!
Sometimes called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has been shown to help support the immune system. In winter, it’s a fair bet Canadians are not getting much vitamin D from exposure to the sun.
In this case, food can become the most important source of vitamin D. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources of vitamin D, as are vitamin D-fortified milks and yogurt.
Check out olive leaf extract
Olive leaves have been traditionally used to enhance functioning of the immune system and aid the management of viral infections, especially when fever is present.
These traditional practices appear to be supported by in vitro and animal studies in which oleuropein (widely regarded as one of the most important constituents of olive leaves) has been shown to be effective against a number of disease-causing microbes, including viruses that cause influenza and similar respiratory infections.
Reach for astragalus
Aside from echinacea, there are several other effective herbal immune boosters that are not as well known. One of these, Astragalus membranaceus, is among the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
As well as being an immune system booster, its benefits include potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, cardiovascular protection, and reduction of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone).