Winter is here and so is the seasonal cold and flu!
By this time of the year you are probably starting to notice your fellow friends and family are “catching” the flu because they WON'T STOP sniffing, blowing their nose or they speak with a deep manly husky voice……. or possibly even better – have no voice! (Thank God, you say)
With the flu (aka influenza) takes over you might experience signs of fatigue, sweating, coughing, increased urination, tiredness, no appetite and well, a snotty mucous sniff. This could be due to several reasons: your body is under too much stress, you have a low immune system, your gut may be imbalanced, nutrient deficiencies, poor diet, temperature changes or you are wearing singlets and shorts in -5 degrees.
- Manage your stress levels – you can do this with meditation, yoga, walking your pets or with friends around the park. Plan what you have to do for the day with 1-2 ways on how you will approach them.
- Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep – getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential not only to prevent against colds and flu but for general health too. This is the time where your body re-energise, repairs, and has a rest too. If you struggle to get a full night's sleep, try and take a 1 hour nap during the day.
- Hydrate – drink plenty of clean filtered water, preferably 2 litres a day. If you don't like the taste of plain water, add some fresh lemon wedges and cucumber slices. This will help nourish your cells as well as support lymphatic detoxification to prevent against build-up of toxins, thus slowing down your immune health.
- Juice it out – make fresh green VEGETABLE juices at home
- Eat plenty of lean proteins and healthy fats with a big serve of green and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, asparagus and kale. Eating greens will bulk up your poo for a regular bowel movement and assist with the body's natural detoxification pathways.
- Avoid immune suppressants – gluten, wheat, dairy and SUGAR!
- Keep your gut balanced, always – about 80% of our immune system is located in the gut wall. The gut flora can regulate how the immune system runs, depending on how it responds to different triggers, like allergens or pathogens. So restoring and maintaining its health is super important, not just in winter but all year round. A great way to do this is eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and drinking bone broth 1- 2 times per day as a soup, as a coffee / tea replacement after a workout, or once you wake up and before you go to bed. Note: kombucha should be avoided due to its high sugar content.
- Let your body ride it out naturally. Getting sick believe it or not is the body's response to cleaning out toxins to come back to its natural state.
- Drink immune enhancing herbal or infused teas – fresh lemon and ginger with turmeric, chamomile, calendula, lemon balm, thuja comp. Be patient, and if need be:
- Consider supplementation – with a good quality Lactobacillus probiotic (I use BioCeuticals – you can get them from any health food store) / Vitamin C, Zinc, Cod Liver Oil, Olive Leaf Extract.
Hope you find this useful!
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