As the nights draw in and there’s a distinct nip in the air, we are turning to chunky knits, winter boots and dare we say it, flu jabs.
Whether you decide to have the vaccination is your call, but it is really important to keep yourself fit and healthy during the winter months to give your body the best chance of fighting colds, flu and other nasty bugs.
Taking exercise, drinking plenty of water, having a decent night’s sleeping and keeping stress to a minimum are all key players in positive winter health – both mental and physical.
Diet is another factor and as well as a variety of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, other vital nutrients can be added to your diet to keep your immune system strong.
You might not know this but oats are thought to boost immunity, speed wound healing, and even help antibiotics work more effectively. A bowl of steaming porridge will not only keep you full all morning but because it contains beta-glucan, a fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, it could be more effective than taking cold busting Echinacea.
As well as drinking water, you might also want to start sipping on green tea. Olyphenols are powerful plant antioxidants that give this tea amazing immune-boosting powers. To make a cuppa use just-below-boiling water and let the tea stew for no more than two minutes. Don’t add milk, but if you need to tackle the natural bitterness, a little lemon and honey will do the job and add a little extra goodness too.
Yogurt is full of probiotics (good bacteria) and can support not only your immune system but also your gut. Add to smoothies, pop on cereal or eat with blueberries and you will be set to ward of nasties all day.
Speaking of smoothies, add a handful of spinach to every one you make. As well as smashing the glass ceiling when it comes to Vitamin C levels, a simple cup of cooked spinach contains some of the much needed potassium and magnesium the body needs for sustained energy levels and good hydration.
Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A and beta-carotene and are an excellent source of fiber. Peel, cut into thick wedges, boil for ten minutes then roast in the oven with a little olive oil and garlic for a healthy treat.
Why not add broccoli, the green God of vegetables, to your lunch or evening meal? As well as naturally detoxing the body and preventing illness, it also contains acid choline which keeps cells functioning properly and with high levels of Vitamin C and calcium it is a real winter winner.
If you do get a cold, make a pot of chicken soup. Hot chicken soup makes noses run which gets rid of the viruses and bacteria lurking in there. Like any liquid, soup keeps you hydrated and raises the temperature of the airways, both of which are help loosening secretions. Try adding chilies, garlic or anti-inflammatory turmeric to make it a real immune-boosting broth.
Oh and don’t forget to steer clear of anyone with a cold, take a good supplement and wash your hands to stop catching or spreading germs.
Team Pure Beauty