By now you would have heard this term. It’s a popular phrase, but also a great message of warning that there can be dark, cold times in each of our lives and that even if things are good now (summer) we should always be ready for possible dark times ahead, when the stressors of life can overwhelm our body and turn against us (winter). Like the Starks (Lords of the North) maintaining constant vigilance and always being prepared for the coming winter will arm your body with the best defence.
5 crowning ways to defend yourself this Winter:
Antioxidants protect ourselves from the aging and damaging effect free radicals have on the cells in our body. Antioxidants help keep our skin glowing and our blood vessels healthy!
Eating coloured plant foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as plenty of bright coloured blueberries, red berries, purple and red grapes, oranges and dark green vegetables packs an enormous antioxidant punch!
- Keep Hydrated
Keep your fluid intake up! Dehydration often makes cough and flu symptoms worse, and in general is not great for your digestion as well. Aim to drink 2 litres of filtered water a day starting with a glass of warm water and a squeeze of half a lemon in the morning when you first wake. You can also increase your water intake by switching from coffee to green or herbal teas. It won’t take long for you to feel the benefits.
- 3. Immune Enhancing Vitamin C and Zinc
When we think of foods that help us battle colds and the sniffles, we often think of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for immune function however, equally important and often not as well known, is Zinc. Zinc is involved in the development and function of our white blood cells, our infection fighting cells. Good sources of zinc can be found in lean red meat, seafood, and in smaller amounts in wholegrain bread and nuts and seeds. Bright vegetables and fruits are great sources of Vitamin C such as beetroot, sweet potato, broccoli, oranges, kiwi fruit, red capsicum and pumpkin and can either be juiced, thrown into stir-fries, or baked and served with warming casseroles and soups.
Other great immune-boosting foods you might like to include in your diet are miso, ginger, garlic, onion, yoghurt, and seaweed.
- Restful Sleep
The quality of our sleep can significantly improve aspects of our health. Sleep is when our nervous system is focused on rest and repair. Sleep is essential for immunity, cell renewal, hair and nail growth, and many non-vital processes that the body does not prioritize during the day, when under constant stress.
- Purposeful Movement
Purposeful movement / physical exercise brings endless benefits to your health that includes boosting your immune system. It’s so good for you it’s actually hard to find any one alternative that even comes close.
As the winter sets in our exercise routines can tend to be let go so a brisk winter walk, rugged up with a friend can be wonderfully rejuvenating. If the weather outside puts you off stretching or simple yoga practices in your home are a great way to move your body and Winter can be the perfect time to try a restorative or warm yoga class.
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