It’s that time of year again when the temperatures are dropping, the nights are drawing in and unfortunately, it’s the start of the runny noses, coughs and sore throats season for many of us.
- Eat gut-friendly foods everyday – the trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut play an essential role in our immune system. Up to 70% of cells in the gut lining make up the immune system! Eat fibre-rich foods such as oats, flaxseeds, apples (especially stewed apples), onions, garlic, artichoke, asparagus and bananas. Include foods with live bacteria such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and kefir.
- Eat a rainbow – prioritise your vegetables and fruits! Choose a wide variety of different coloured vegetables and fruits every day and eat them with every meal and snack, to ensure a nutrient-packed, antioxidant-rich diet to support your immune system.
- Vitamin D – whilst essential to bone health, vitamin D is also fundamental to a healthy immune system. Found in small amounts in oily fish, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods, it may be worth considering a vitamin D supplement to meet need during the winter months.
- Time for you – with ever increasing demands upon our lives, time to relax and take stock often takes a back seat. Chronic stress can greatly impact upon our immune system resulting in inflammation, reduced white blood cells and a higher susceptibility to infection and tissue damage. Diarise time every day to do something just for you. It could be a short walk, listening to music or simple breathing exercises. Whatever you choose, see it as an opportunity to shut out the world and the constant mind chatter and enjoy a few minutes of peace and calm!
- Get your 8-hours of sleep – sleep plays an essential role in our overall well-being and immunity.