Winter is here and so is the seasonal cold and flu!
By this time of the year you’re probably starting to notice your fellow friends and family are “catching” the flu because they WONT STOP sniffing, blowing their nose, speak with a deep manly husky voice……. or, possibly (if they get annoying), something even better – have no voice!
When the flu (aka influenza) takes over you might experience signs of fatigue, sweating, coughing, increased urination, tiredness, no appetite and a snotty mucous sniff that’s so gross yet so annoying. This could be due to a couple of reasons: your body is under too much stress, you have a low immune system, your gut may be imbalanced, you may have a few common nutrient deficiencies, your diet is poor, hot to cold temperature changes, or you’re wearing singlets and shorts in -5 degrees!
So what can you do to prevent yourself from “catching” the flu and cold too?
- Manage your stress levels – you can do this with meditation, yoga, walking your pets or with friends around the park, plan what you have to do for the day with a list of 1-2 ways on how you will approach them, or block out some time for yourself, even if its 15 minutes.
- Sleep – something everybody wishes they had more of. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential not only to prevent against colds and flu’ but for general health including increasing your metabolism. This is the time where your body re-energizes, repairs and has a rest, too. If you struggle to get a full nights sleep, try to take a 1 hour nap during the day. But not too long, otherwise you wont sleep during the night.
- Hydrate – drink plenty of clean filtered water – aim for at least 1L a day. If you don’t like the taste of plain water add some fresh lemon wedges and cucumber slices. This will help to nourish your cells as well as support lymphatic detoxification to prevent against a build up of toxins – an immune system down regular. It can also improve digestion and weight loss! Win Win.
- Juice it out – make fresh green VEGETABLE juices at home. Celery, carrot, cucumber, parsley, beetroot.
- Eat plenty of lean proteins and healthy fats with a big serve of green and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, kale. Eating green will bulk up your poo for a regular bowel movement and assist with the bodies natural detoxification pathways.
- Avoid immune suppressants – gluten, wheat, dairy and SUGAR!
- Keep your gut balanced, always – about 80% of our immune system is located in the gut wall. The gut flora can regulate how the immune system runs, depending on how it responds to different triggers, like allergens or pathogens. So restoring and maintaining its health is super important, not just in winter but all year round. A great way to do this is eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and drinking bone broth 1- 2 times per day as a soup, as a coffee / tea replacement, after a workout, or once you wake up and before you go to bed. Note: kombucha should be avoided due to its high content of sugar.
- Let your body ride it out naturally. Getting sick believe it or not is the body’s response to cleaning out toxins to come back to its natural state. How cool is that?
- Drink immune enhancing herbal or infused teas – fresh lemon and ginger with turmeric, chamomile, calendula, lemon balm, thuja comp. Be patient, healing will take time. But if need be:
- Consider supplementation – with a good quality Lactobacillus probiotic (I use BioCeuticals – you can get them from any health food store) / Vitamin C, Zinc, Cod Liver Oil, Olive Leaf Extract.