6 easy steps you can take as insurance against coughs, colds & flu this winter:
1) Vitamin C – a potent antioxidant that mobilises your immune function – found in citrus fruits & purple foods, eg. blueberries, cherries, eggplant
2) Zinc – fights infection & boosts immunity – found in shellfish, nuts, seeds, meat & eggs.
3) Vitamin D – these levels generally drop over winter because of less time in the sunlight, therefore we manufacture less Vitamin D ourselves. This vitamin helps fight infection. Found in salmon, tuna, eggs, mushroom, beef liver, poultry & nuts.
4) Probiotics – a specific strain called Lactobacillus Acidophilus, is the probiotic that nurtures the immune function. 70% of our immune system is located in the gut, so it’s important to support this function too.
5) Down time – often we get caught up in a busy lifestyle that denies us “time-off”. We all need it to recharge our batteries. Plan some time regularly for yoga, relaxation, reading a good book, soaking in the bath, a massage or tai chi class. This de-stress time is as important to our health as healthy eating.
6) Sleep – often overlooked as something we can do without, but our bodies heal the best when we are asleep or at rest. So missing regular amounts of sound sleep will catch up in the form of increasing our susceptibilty to winter ills.