Diet Blog

Stay healthy in winter

Thursday, 28 July 2011
Beat off colds and flus this winter by keeping your immune system strong. Over the colder months, itís easy to start feeling run down and lethargic, but if you keep your body supported with all the right vitamins and nutrients, you can keep your energy levels up and fight off illness. Here are some top tips for staying healthy in winterÖ 

Drink lots of water

Stay hydrated in winter by making an effort to get your two litres each day. A glass of water might be the last thing you feel like on an icy winter day, but itís actually one of the best things for you! Even though youíre not sweating like in summer, your body needs plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated. And when you have a cold or flu, increase your water intake to around 10 glasses a day to help make up for lost fluids, speeding up your recovery. 

Eat your greens

Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments, so keeping your body in a healthy alkaline state is the best way to fight off illnesses. Add more dark leafy greens such as kale, silverbeet and spinach to your diet to alkalize your body- and get a great balance of vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients which will enhance the body's immune system.

Get some rest

When weíre stressed and tired, our immune system weakens- so along with feeling run down, itís easier to get sick. During rest and sleep the body naturally restores and recuperates itself, so allow yourself to recover and fight illness by getting your 7-9 hours sleep each night. If youíre particularly stressed, look for ways you can let yourself unwind. Yoga, pilates and meditation are all good ways to let your mind and body to chill out.

Keep exercising

Itís easy to start feeling tired and lethargic in the colder months. Go for a walk when itís not too wet and icy, or find exercises you can do indoors to make sure you keep your body active! Getting your body moving will help to boost your energy, lift your spirits and support your immune system, keeping you feeling bright, healthy and lively. Working up a sweat also gives your body a chance to release stored toxins through the skin.

Add garlic and ginger

Not only do they add great flavour to any meal, they also have strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties- which means theyíre great at fighting off bugs and keeping your immune system in top shape.

Go for vitamin C

Choosing foods rich in vitamin C can help boost your immunity. As well as being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can also help to strengthen blood vessel walls and enhance the function of immune cells. Add some citrus fruits, melons, kiwi fruit, berries, red capscium, parsley and broccoli to your meal plan to get a good dose of this wonder-nutrient.

Drink herbal teas

Skip the hot chocolate for your comfort drink and warm up with herbal teas that are rich in nutrients that can help boost your immunity. Some great choices are green tea (full of potent antioxidants), rosehip and hibiscus tea (packed with vitamin C), ginger tea (see above for the benefits of ginger!) and peppermint tea (aids digestion and can help sooth a sore tummy).

Use manuka honey

Add a bit of manuka honey to your tea for a touch of sweetness- along with some great anti-bacterial and healing effects, providing relief from a range of cold and flu symptoms.

Munch on seaweed

Try seaweed for an extra immunity boost- it contains strong health-promoting compounds not found in any land vegetables. There are several different varieties you can experiment with, like dulse leafs or flakes for salads, wakame for miso soups, or sea spaghetti or kelp noodles as a healthy alternative to pasta.

Eat soup

Soup is a great way to get some warm winter comfort, without loading heaps of extra calories into your diet plan. And, if you use lots of vegetables, it can be a great immunity-boost, giving you an easy way to get in a big variety of vitamins and minerals. Choose healthy recipes to create a delicious and nutrient-dense soup, full of as many colourful vegetables as possible. This is also a great opportunity to throw in all your immunity-boosting herbs and spices

Use olive leaf extract

Olive leaf extract has long been used for its unique health properties, including boosting your immunity and energy levels. Olive leaf extract is the liquid harvested from fresh olive leaves, and contains a range of potent antioxidants, along with plenty of zinc, iron and vitamin C. Add a few drops to your tea and fight off that cold or flu!

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