A cold or flu in winter can make people feel depressed and nutritionally and physically off-course. Here are my top tips to help minimize your risk of colds and flu.
1. Take a vitamin D supplement
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and we actually need to ingest it as our bodies can’t. Vitamin D helps maintain the calcium balance, supports cell differentiation (important for growth and wound healing), strengthens your immunity, supports insulin secretion, blood pressure regulation and plays a role in the following diseases (osteoporosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s).
Regularly pumping your blood can increase the activity of your white blood cells, which help fight viruses. We often tend to become less active as the days get shorter and colder. Try to be active for an hour a day, and it doesn’t have to be all at once. If you’re battling a cold, even slight exercise in the middle of the day will help your body fight infection. Are you struggling to stay active in the fall and winter? Participate in one of Ashley’s programs for guidance, support, and accountability.
3. Oregano oil
Studies have shown that oregano oil is effective at killing bacteria and can help the immune system fight viruses, fungi, and parasites. This is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics.
4. Increase your vitamin A.
Experts have long known that vitamin A plays a role in infection, maintains the surface of the mucous membrane and is also essential for the lymphocytes. It is a fat soluble vitamin found only in animal foods. However, you can eat certain foods that convert to vitamin A – apricots, broccoli, melon, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
5. Drink your water
It’s easier to drink more water in the warmer months, but the heat indoors is much drier all winter and your immune system cells cannot function optimally without adequate moisture. Water helps you lose weight, oxygenates and flushes out toxins, helps produce lymph, keeps eyes and mouth clean, helps digest your food, and treats common chronic diseases.
If you’ve taken antibiotics and / or had recurring illnesses, your “good” bacteria in your body are most likely at risk and you will need to take probiotics to replace them. Probiotics play a vital role in your gut health. Research has shown that the bacterial colonies living in your gut can play a key role in the development of cancer, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and even behavioral and emotional problems.
Did you know that chronic and daily stress can impair the functioning of your immune system and make you sick more often? Meditation is a holistic approach to strengthening the immune system. Scientific data shows the positive side effects of meditation on the body and mind. Meditation helps to raise antibodies, reduce stress, and stimulate the immune system.
Has antimicrobial properties that can help fight off certain bacteria and viruses. Cook with fresh garlic or add garlic powder to certain dishes to add flavor, taste, and nourishment to your meals!
Mushrooms contain some of the most effective natural medicines on the planet! Eat organically grown mushrooms because they ingest and focus whatever they grow on. They help with weight management, improve diet, increase the amount of vitamin D in your diet, and improve immune function!
10. Laugh and connect
When you are feeling down, you may need some laughter and joy in your life. Connecting with a friend and laughing, some research has found that laughing might be the best medicine.
Sleep deprivation and overuse of stress increase the hormone cortisol and eventually suppress your immune system and weight gain. It is important that your body has enough eyes closed to repair and heal. Aim for 7-8 hours a night.