Winter has arrived here down under and the cold, chilly weather has dawned upon us — brrrrrr!With the kids at school there's sneezing and coughing galore, but what is positive in this gloomy time is my kids don't seem to get heavily sick nor keep a cold for long. I've avoided getting sick so far, and what I've found works best when it comes to boosting the immune system and fighting looming viruses is stocking up on plenty of fresh everyday superfoods and natural remedies, because if there's one thing germs and bugs can do, it's wreak havoc on our jam-packed schedules, our skin, and every other element of our lives. Here's a handy guide I live by every flu season. I've written up 5 natural ways to fight the flu & create a stronger immune system fast — no tablets or flu shots needed!
1. Keep warmYep it's simple and true, keeping warm can help you avoid coughs, colds and the flu. That's because the viruses that lead to colds and flus thrive in cooler temperatures, which can make us prone to getting sick faster. Don't forget the gloves, beanies and woolly jumpers! And keep your space dry - bugs fester in moist environments so get the air dehumidifier or air conditioner on to extract the moisture.
2. Eat healing foodsNow is the time to ingest vital nutrients and vitamins to help your body defend itself against the runny noses, coughs and colds that are so common right now. Certain foods can be fabulous as medicine, especially bone broth (which is incredibly high in immune-boosting protein and anti-inflammatory amino acids) as well as colourful fresh fruit and veg, which are bursting with immune-supporting vitamins A, C, and E. In addition to the classic oranges, eat plenty of blueberries, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, carrots, spinach, kale, and broccoli. Foods that contain high levels of the mineral zinc can also strengthen your immune system and help ward off colds (pumpkin seeds, whole grains, nuts, beef, and eggs). The warming spices of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon are also super healers for any ailment, especially colds and flus so throw these fragrant wonders into your winter warmer meals and try to get plenty of Vitamin D by way of sunlight, fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms to keep your insides chugging along nicely.
3. Drink plenty of fluidsDrink plenty of water, and keep the junk food and booze to a minimum. The less energy your body has to waste detoxing your organs, means it has more energy to do what it's supposed to do — keep you fit, strong and healthy! Sip on cleansing green juices regularly and go for herbal tea instead of coffee and other hot drinks. Ginger, lemon, turmeric and honey tea gives your body a fighting chance, as the ingredients contain antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can help keep you healthy while healing your cold symptoms.
4. Rest & de-stressThe best way to boost your immune system is to be happy, smile and get plenty of sleep. Getting adequate rest and keeping stress levels at bay is essential to remaining strong and healthy this winter, especially when our bodies are working in overdrive to fight sicknesses coming from all directions. Proper sleep helps your immune defenses while sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illness. So if you want to stay strong, head to bed early (with a grin)!
5. Practice good hygiene
When the weather turns chilly, you spend more time indoors where the air is recycled which means you're generally nearer to people who might already have cold-causing viruses. My advice for maintaining optimum hygiene levels? Keep your hands clean, throw out any expired makeup, clean your pillow cases, change your toothbrush and avoid rubbing your eyes to stop viruses from becoming full-blown, hostile takeovers.