Fall weather is finally here! Is it? I mean, most days, yes. But then sometimes . . . not so much. All this flip-flopping weather can be hard on our bodies. It’s not surprising that everyone seems to get sick this time of year. As a result, now is the PERFECT time to start focusing on your immunity. Here are 5 ways to get started:
It’s easy to remember to drink water in the summertime. We’re hot, we’re sweaty, we’re parched. But when fall rolls around, it’s easy to forget. Hydration is a key component of immunity. Water allows us to digest our food properly (ensuring we absorb all our nutrients), flushes toxins out of our systems, and facilitates the movement of nutrients, etc. around our bodies.
Grab some (non-diuretic) herbal tea, maple water, or just plain water to keep yourself hydrated.
I know, I know. Easier said than done. But sleep is one of the most important factors in a healthy immune system. Even short term sleep loss can have a significant impact on immune function, and increase inflammation. According to Ayurvedic medicine, you should aim to be asleep by 10 pm.
If getting to sleep is a struggle for you, consider looking into a calming tea like Traditional Medicinals’ Nighty Night, or try supplementing with melatonin or valerian. If you’re having trouble STAYING asleep, with wakeups around 3 am, that’s usually stress-related. Try out Orange Naturals’ Stress Tincture.
3. Eat Your Fruits & Veg
What’s the first thing you reach for when you’ve got a cold? For most people, it’s vitamin C. And what’s the best source of vitamin C? Fresh fruit and veg. In the winter, we tend to favour cooked foods over raw, which reduces the amount of vitamin C we get from our produce. Make sure to keep including a few raw fruits and veg in your day (and make sure your orange juice is unpasteurized) to get your vitamin C content!
In addition, fruits and veg provide us with antioxidants, fibre to keep toxins moving out of our systems, additional water (see #1), and a whole host of nutrients that keep us healthy and strong.
4. Zinc for Immunity
Zinc is such an important nutrient for immunity that we wrote a whole post on it! If you feel a cold coming on, the best thing you can do is reach for the zinc lozenges. If supplementation isn’t your thing, there are lots of foods high in zinc:
- beef and lamb
- sesame seeds/tahini
- pumpkin seeds
- & so many more!
5. Get Enough Protein
Protein is involved in every step of your immune response. If you’re not getting enough of it, your body may not be in top germ-fighting form. Scientests have identified the amino acid arginine as being especially important for immunity. You can find high amounts of arginine in things like poultry, pork, dairy, spirulina, legumes, and pumpkin seeds.
The average adult female needs approximately 45g of protein in a day, and the average adult male needs around 60g. Make sure you’re having some at each meal to hit your daily intake.
While there’s no way to ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE that you won’t get sick this fall & winter, these tips will go a long way to helping you feel better. And if you DO get sick, well, you know where to come to get everything you need to get well soon!