Updated: Jan 18
Immune systems are our bodies self defense system. It can tell when an invader ( a.k.a. germ or virus) enters our system and how to properly handle it with our own set of good guys ( a.k.a. healthy bacteria) that fight off infection and disease.
This is why NOW more than ever it is crucial to treat your body well with immune boosting foods, your daily water intake, movement that your body responds well to, sunshine daily, and rest. Below I will go over each of these and ways to implement them into your day.
Let's dive in to how you can begin this today:
Incorporate immune boosting foods: Foods like broccoli, peppers, citrus, and garlic are all great places to start. I enjoy roasting some of these and adding with some butternut squash for an easy soup. My favorite thing to do with citrus is add it to my lunches, on top of salads or as a sweet treat for after a savory dish. I have even peeled them and frozen them to add to my morning smoothies! They are the perfect fast food, and the rind can double as a freshener for your garbage disposal or placed in a pot on the stove and simmered with some cinnamon to make the whole house smell inviting! Also adding probiotic rich foods to your daily meals like plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha. These fermented foods will add good bacteria to your gut, increasing your immunity and providing you with optimal digestion too!
Up your water intake: Chug, chug! Seriously, our bodies can survive 2 weeks without food, but only 3 days without water. It's super important for the overall health of our body, and most of us get less than half of our daily intake. Why? Because there are so many options.... soda, tea, juice, COFFEE! In the wonderful words of Thoreau, "Simplify, simplify, simplify!" I stick to water first thing before I have anything else to drink. Aim to drink 12 oz when you first wake up to get your system moving. And then aim for 8 oz before each meal.
Move Your Body: First and foremost, I want to specify that this looks different for everyone! Especially dealing with immune function. Those dealing with AI issues need to take a more intuitive approach to movement and know that the max you give is what your body is able to do. Others can work to focus on 30 minutes a day with a variety of walking, cross training, yoga, weight lifting, and cardio. Boosting your heart rate and getting your blood and oxygen pumping is good for strengthening your immune function.
Get out in the sun: Vitamin D is a great way to boost immune function and the natural kind is absorbed by our bodies the best. Just 20 minutes a day in the sun in spring and summer in the sun are enough, in the winter months almost two hours would be needed, therefore for most people its tough to achieve the optimal values. However, personally, I find that taking in 20-30 minutes daily has helped my entire wellbeing. And, if you go for a brisk walk then you are technically getting a double dose of immune boosting activity!
Rest: Rest is equally if not more so important than most of these things. And let me clarify, I don't mean sitting on the couch in front of the TV "resting". I mean good quality sleep. This is when you body is healing and restoring its systems to give it's best chance against disease and illness. Every body is different, but aiming for 7-8 hours a night is helpful. I enjoy winding down to bed with a book and a cup of tea so my body can naturally begin its rest phase.
These are just a few ways you can begin to boost that immune system this winter, along with so many other things that I go over in my FREE Facebook group: The Holistic Edit Community. Are you a part of it? If not, join us!
And if you are wanting to work on some specific health and wellness goals this winter, I am enrolling in my EDIT: Your Life group coaching program RIGHT NOW! To find out if this program is a good fit for you, schedule a complimentary 1:1 Coaching call with me here!
Cheers to a healthy and happy winter!