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It’s only when the night rolls on in with an icy chill, that we’re stopped in our tracks and reminded that we’ve still got a fair few more weeks of this season to survive - this temperature rise + drop combo mixed in with other lifestyle stresses makes us extremely vulnerable and attractive to those dreaded cold & flu bugs. On top of recommending taking a coat when you’re heading on out, we’ve listed our top ten tips to keep your immune system strong and balanced to ensure optimum health for the remaining winter days.
Up Your Nutrient Game
To increase immune support we need to ensure we’re getting an array of nutrients from our food - look for foods rich in: vitamins A, C, D and E; minerals such as zinc; as well as healthy doses of omega 3 and 6. Whole foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes should be the prime focus and can be supported with immune boosting superfoods and supplements. Our top picks include cold pressed, omega rich oils such as hemp seed oil or mushroom powders such as Four Sigmatic’s chaga and reishi sachets - these are convenient and can be accessed easily whenever you’re feeling run down or are in need of a reset.
Stay Strong with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another warrior when it comes to keeping those bad bugs at bay. Fresh fruit and veggies are the clear winners when it comes to getting your daily dose of vitamin C - we’re talking berries, kiwifruit, capscicums and dark leafy greens. Supplements are another easy way to up your vitamin C intake, and over here at F&F we’re thanking Amazonia for their immune boosting range this season with special shout-outs going to the Amazonia Organic Freeze Dried Acai Powder (açaí has over 50 essential nutrients and vitamins) and the Amazonia Raw Prebiotic Vitamin C which is a seriously tasty formula that has been designed to nourish the immune and digestive systems while supporting collagen production. There is over 400mg of vitamin C per serve.
Arm Your Immune System with Herbs and Spices
Although they’re not everyone’s fave, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper and turmeric are our go-to herbs for optimum health and for providing an ‘armor’ against cold & flu. Golden Grind has you covered here with their easy to drink powder mixes blended with some of these immune boosters including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Simply add a mylk to make a stunning golden latte full of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
H2O is your BFF
You’ve heard it all before and well there’s just no denying that staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Water is a major playing in the production of lymph which carries our immune system cells (white blood cells) around our body. For an extra boost, add a slice of lemon which will provide some extra vitamin C.
Add in some Vitamin Z
Chronic fatigue is known for increasing the risks of illness. The body rejuvenates and strengthens when you sleep which is why it’s recommend to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. An afternoon nap is always acceptable too. We love Ettitude’s bamboo eye mask for when we’re in need of some serious shut-eye no matter the time of the day.
Say Hello to Friendly Bacteria
It’s known that about 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. So keeping a healthy gut is very important to keep a strong immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in whole and fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, kimchi and miso, or in the form of supplements. Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff is pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to getting your daily dose of essential nutrients including probiotics. It is a complex multi nutrient formula of veggies, fruits, greens and berries designed to help you be the best version of you. Simply add to water and enjoy.
Avoid the Chill with Some Chill......
Morning, night or any time throughout the day, there’s nothing more comforting than a good cuppa tea. This Love Tea blend supports healthy immune function with organic ingredients such as echinacea root, ginger and rose hip. Its grounding, earthy flavour has subtle hints of sweet licorice, vitalising zesty ginger and fresh lemongrass, making it the perfect companion for when you’re in need of some r&r. For those green thumbs (or any thumbs for that matter) you can also grow your own tea with Urban Greens. Your grow kit contains all that you need to simply plant and nurture your own beautiful tea leaves and brew a satisfying, delicious cup of tea.
Get Up and Go
Hand in hand with increasing your water intake, exercising can have an incredible impact on your overall health. Exercising increases our immune function, it improves sleep quality, and makes our body stronger. A little lunch time walk can make a huge difference to how you’re feeling (physically + mentally) and your body’s ability to fight off any unfriendly bacteria. Aim for 20 minutes a day.
Soak up Some of This Sun
Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for strengthening our immune system, so try to go outside a few times a week for about 30 minutes when the sun is not at its highest.
Increase the Fun
A major contributor to a weakened immune system is chronic stress and depression. It’s absolutely vital to take the time to have some fun and do something that truly makes you happy. See some friends, go and enjoy some downtime watching a movie at the cinema or give that cooking course a try. If not for you, do it for your hard-working immune system, your body will thank you!