Winter is the time of year that most of us tend to get sick, so what can we do to decrease the chance of illness this cold season? While there’s no “magic pill” to make sure you don’t get sick, there are some tried and true ways to supercharge your immunity.
- Wash your hands regularly. Wash for at least 20 seconds (or two rounds of “Happy Birthday” if you’re unsure) and make sure you wash all the surfaces of your hands. Try not to touch your face or get too close to others who may be unwell.
- Enhance your diet. Adding certain foods can help the function and balance of your immune system. These foods include garlic, prebiotic fibres (artichokes, green bananas, or asparagus), Vitamin C rich foods (kiwis, oranges, capsicums) and antioxidant rich foods (green leafy vegetables).
- Reduce your stress. Definitely easier said than done, but living under constant stress causes the body to produce too much of the stress hormone cortisol. Over time elevated cortisol levels lower your body’s resistance to fighting off infections.
- Get enough sleep. You need 7-8 hours per night of good quality sleep for your body to be able to fight illness. Sleep allows our body’s to reset, recharge and heal.
- Get moving. Exercise increases your resilience so you're better equipped to fight disease during winter. All of our body systems, but especially the immune system, function better when we are physically active every day.
If you think you might need some extra support, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, Astragalus and Andrographis can also help!