Boost your Winter Immunity

Boost your Winter Immunity

Natural health tips from Georgie O’Connor for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).

In times of stress such as keeping warm in colder weather, or battling with bugs, we have to give the body extra help. Prevention is better than cure, and the very first step is good nutrition!

Get health protecting antioxidants into your diet

  • At this time of year, root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of health-giving carotenoids and vitamin A; have them steamed or baked with a sprinkle of olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.
  • A handful of almonds can provide almost half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin E which is vitally important for good skin health as well as the immune system through the winter months. Eat them as a snack or lightly crush them and sprinkle on soups or stews for added texture.
  • Button mushrooms contain selenium, and B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which are all known to play a role in a healthy immune system.  Try some lightly sautéed on rye toast for breakfast.
  • Cabbage is an excellent seasonal and inexpensive source of health promoting Glutathione, so add cabbage to your soups and stews.
  • Onions & garlic also help the immune system battle against the seasonal viral invaders. When cooking with either, peel, chop and then leave for 10-15 minutes to allow activation of their immune boosting properties.
  • Frozen fruit can be a good source of antioxidants. Try them heated gently over porridge or with oats & yoghurt.
  • Green juices are packed with a wide variety of nutrients, helping the body’s natural recovery and detoxification processes.

Reduce foods which suppress your immune system

  • Eating refined sugar reduces white blood cell activity, impairing the immune system.
  • Replacing immune-suppressing caffeinated coffee and teas with herbal teas instead will boost your body’s natural healing power.
  • Alcohol is also an immune suppressant.
  •  An excessive intake of high fat foods may limit the body’s ability to clear infection, by ‘clogging up’ our lymphatic system, a major highway which helps transport bacteria out of the body. 

The importance of rest

  • Emotional and physical stress induce a series of hormonal changes in the body, raising cortisol levels which reduces immunity.  Aim to get at least seven hours of good quality sleep each night and schedule in time for fun and relaxation during each day. 

Don’t overlook exercise

  • Our lymphatic system, which plays a pivotal role in clearing infection, relies on muscular contraction as a pump to move its contents along.  This means that without regular exercise your body will struggle to clear toxins and infectious agents, so aim to walk for at least half an hour each day.

Find out more!

For more about vitality, nutrition and wellness, come along to 42 Juice’s event with CNM on January 12th at SIX Restaurant’s Juice Bar. CNM-trained Nutritional Therapist Daniela Exley will be discussing naturopathic detoxification strategies, how to boost energy levels, and general tips for immunity and digestion. Limited spaces available – book your ticket here! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/juice-health-vitality-thursday-12th-january-2017-cnm-brighton-registration-29326454214

 CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) train students for careers in natural therapies.  For more about CNM courses on offer click here: www.naturopathy-uk.com

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