Its cold and flu season, so we need to keep our immune system working it’s best. There are some very fundamental things that help us do that. Follow these basic principles and keep yourself healthy as the temperatures drop.
- Hydration – adequate hydration and humidity in our home and work environment keeps our mucous membranes and skin moist and more resistant to invaders. Aim for half your body weight in ounces for your minimum water intake, probably more this time of year. Caffeinated beverages don’t count. Try to keep the humidity in your home/work at a good level too.
- Sugar – too much sugar causes our immune system to drop by up to 40%. If we want a sweet treat, eat it right after a meal containing protein and healthy fats so that it all metabolizes together. Dessert can be fruit… it doesn’t always have to be a cookie or pastry!
- Vitamin D – we can’t put too much emphasis on this! Safe sun exposure is hard to do in the winter in northern climates, so try to eat foods that give a good source of vitamin D: tuna, salmon, cod and trout are fish sources (wild caught is best) and eggs and mushrooms are also great sources, as well. Other foods are fortified with Vit D such as milk or cereal, but aren’t as high quality. We will most likely need to supplement in the winter. Choose a high quality D3 supplement that also has Vitamin K2. Check with your doctor for your blood level reading which should be at least 50 ng/ml, preferably near 80 ng/ml.
- Fruits and veggies – these provide a variety of nutrients and fiber to keep our gut healthy, where 70% of our immune system originates.
- Pre and probiotics – apple cider vinegar, onions and kefir are all good sources.
- Sleep – at least 7 hours a night for adequate rest.
Follow these basics to fight off anything that comes your way this winter.
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