This can be a tough time of year for lots of us. The weather is getting cold, people are succumbing to colds and flu and to top it all we have the busy Christmas period with an endless list of things to do and buy which tops up stress levels.
Here are my top tips to boost your immunity and beat the winter blues.
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for immunity. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight and living in the UK it is likely that most of us are deficient, certainly during the winter months. I would recommend a vitamin D supplement. A spray that is sprayed directly onto the tongue is the best form. The spray from Better You is my favourite and a winter essential.
This is one of the nutrients that we associate most with immunity. I’m adding them in here because they really are so important. Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant and immune booster. Good sources of vitamin C include red peppers, kale, broccoli and sprouts (good for this season!) Interestingly these all have higher levels than oranges which is one of the most commonly recommended sources.
This is an important mineral for immune health and another relatively common deficiency, particularly as it can be depleted if you are very stressed. Fresh oysters are by far the best sources of zinc. If that’s not your thing, try fresh ginger root, lamb chops and nuts such as pecans and brazils.
Allicin the active component in garlic is a potent antibacterial agent. I use it as much as possible in cooking. The best way to treat garlic is to cut it up and leave the allicin to activate before lightly cooking it or using to raw. Too much cooking will destroy the allicin and so one of my favourite ways is to have it raw in guacamole or hummus.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are important as they help protect the integrity of the respiratory tract. Great sources are the avocado that I mentioned above as well as fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon. Aim for three portions a week.
This can be such a busy time of year and it really is important to take some time for yourself. Whether that is just having a relaxing bath, going for a walk and taking some time to do some yoga or reading, relaxation is really important. If you are stressed you can become more easily run down so it really is important to look after yourself.
If you would like to talk about more help with boosting your immunity and fighting those winter bugs, get in contact with Kirsty Williams, Nutritional Therapist in Norwich.