Here we go again. It’s beginning of November and everyone at work is sick, people on the subway are sick, our customers are sick and now, my husband is sick. So what do I do? Just waiting for it to hit me too. Or do I? Actually I’ve tried my best this year to boost my immune system by taking vitamin D3
, Zinc, probiotics (I use these
), getting my B’s
as well as drinking Yogi Tea’s Cold Season Immune Support Teas
. And once Mr. got sick I’ve been running to Juice Generation
‘s Juice Farmacy during my lunch hour to get their Cold Warrior juice
(hot and yummy!) as well as their shots
such as E3Live and Sea Buckthorn.
So what’s the key to getting through cold season without using your sick days? Never underestimate the power of vibrant good health and a well-functioning immune system to keep you healthy when everyone else around you is sick. Here are few tips from one of my nutrition heroines Kimberly Snyder
on how you can boost your immune system naturally to keep you healthy all year around. 1. Eat Right
Eating right is the foundation for vibrant health. Eat a plant-based diet, which provides your body with the nutrients it needs to fight off germs, repair itself, and function optimally. Be sure to take a probiotic every day, and eat lots of greens (fast, easy way to pack a whole lotta greens in your body: smoothie!). If your intestinal flora is balanced, your immunity will strengthen. Avoid processed sugar and products, which decreases immunity and causes spikes in blood glucose, and dairy, which creates mucus.
Vitamin C: bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, grapefruits, spinach, and sweet potatoes for a boost of this antioxidant.
Vitamin E: hazelnuts, almonds, tomatoes, and spinach.
Carotenoids: You can find these beneficial nutrients in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, orange-colored vegetables like squash and carrots, tomatoes, and spices like cayenne pepper.
Bioflavonoids: These antioxidants are available in sweet peppers, chocolate, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tropical fruits, garlic, and spinach.
Selenium: Your body needs this mineral in trace amounts. You can find it in Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, barley, brown rice, and oats.
Zinc: Another essential mineral, you can find zinc from delicious sources like dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds or tahini.
2. Control Stress
Stress saps your body of its ability to fight illness. Try yoga, meditation, positive visualization and taking time for yourself in order to distress. The more you can target what is chronically stressful in your life and work to find healthy ways to alleviate it, the better your whole life will be. I know, easier said than done, but start with one thing!
3. Get Enough Sleep
You need your sleep to stay healthy! Experts estimate adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. I personally feel the best after 8 hours of sleep and that’s what I get most nights. If you have trouble sleeping try these ideas to help improve your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar.
- Don’t eat heavy foods near bedtime- especially animal proteins, which are slow-digesting foods
- Keep your bedroom a comfortable temperature. We keep our bedroom windows open all day and sometimes at night as well in order to get fresh air in and make it a little cooler than normally.
- Create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Shut off the computer and TV at least an hour before you go to sleep.
- If possible, go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning to set your sleep schedule.
Pursuing moderate exercise can boost your immune system. Take a walk during the day, go hiking, bicycle, practice yoga or find some other activity you enjoy and can do regularly. Just remember that over-exercising can lower immunity, so there’s no need to become a workout warrior.
Your body needs water to function. Staying hydrated is essential, and drinking water is the best way to do it. Water helps flush toxins out of your system and keeps your mucous membranes moist, which can prevent cold and flu germs from adhering inside your nose or lungs. Just remember to drink water between meals, not with them.
When at home I always have a big glass of water (with lemon juice for flavor) in front of me at the coffee table (where I spend most my time) so I remember to drink enough. Every time I get up the couch I finish the glass so I can fill it up the same time as I’m doing something else. Also, bringing a water bottle to work with me and having it near me at all times helps me remember to drink more frequently. It doesn’t hurt if it’s pink and cute like this glass bottle I own