Stay well throughout winter with our guide to help you resist coughs and colds:
- Learn which foods support your immune system
- Try this clever way to keep your Vitamin C topped up
- Find out which daily habits mean you’re more likely to get sick
Why do some people catch every virus going around and others manage to escape it altogether? Your susceptibility has a lot to do with how well your immune system is functioning, and the great news is you can do loads to support it with with food and lifestyle tweaks. Here are our top 6 tips:
- Winter sun – one of the main reasons we get more infections in winter is because we have far less sun exposure and produce less Vitamin D, a nutrient closely linked to your immune-system. If you can, take a holiday in winter to top up your levels, or eat more sources of Vitamin D including oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), mushrooms, eggs.
- Improve your gut bacteria – amazingly 70% of our immune activity takes place in our intestines! Gut flora provides a protective barrier against pathogenic bacteria (strains that can make us ill) and viruses, preventing them from getting into our blood stream. Support your healthy bacteria levels by eating fermented foods like kefir, natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, or choose a good probiotic supplement.
- Avoid getting run down – being too busy, stressed and losing sleep means we eat more sugary foods, starchy carbohydrates and drink more coffee to keep going. These cause us extra physical stress, and the main hormone that our bodies release to switch off stress (cortisol) also suppresses immunity. So it’s vital to look after yourself, relax, sleep more and cut out the junk if you want your immune system to do its job!
- Nourish your immune cells – our body’s defence system needs a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to function well – that’s why fussy eaters and extreme dieters are more susceptible. Pack loads of nutritious foods into your diet especially foods rich in zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, this means more fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds (and sprouted seeds, like alfalfa), tempeh, fish and seafood. The Vitamin A in Organic Burst Wheatgrass means it can help support your immune system.
- Get clever about your Vitamin C – Vitamin C needs a range of bioflavanoids (plant chemicals) for it to be utilised properly by our bodies, and these are not necessarily present in all Vitamin C tablets. The important bioflavanoids are present in natural sources of Vitamin C i.e. fruit and vegetable sources. Additionally, Vitamin C only stays active in your body for a few hours, so we recommend adding 2tbsp Organic Burst Baobab to a 1.5 litre bottle of water and sip it regularly throughout the day to help keep levels of natural vitamin C, which helps maintain the normal function of the immune system, topped up.
- Liven up your lymph – lymph organs and vessels produce immune cells and transport them around the body to where they’re needed. If you’re very inactive, this can cause a stagnation in the lymph fluid, immune cells can’t do their job and toxins get stuck in your system. Keep your lymph fluid running around the body by breathing deeply and exercising regularly to encourage the rhythmic pushing of the lymph through muscle contraction. Staying hydrated with plenty of filtered water and herbal teas is also helpful.
We use up our Vit C in 3 hours, so add Organic Burst Baobab to a bottle of water and sip regularly.