diet

Beat the Winter Blahs with a Strong Immune System

Beat the Winter Blahs with a Strong Immune System

It’s that time of year…when many of our colleges, friends and family are out of commission with a bad cold or even worse, the flu.

Here are a healthy habits to help you keep your body healthy and immune system strong:

Exercise

Moderate exercise (approximately 30 minutes 3 – 4 x a week to start) is essential for the immune system but also the coronary system, to help you manage body weight, for energy, and to help your body regulate blood sugars.  Note that too much exercise actually weakens the immune system so take rest days when needed.

Daily De-stress

Stress triggers the adrenal glands to work overtime (our fight or flight response) and the constant release of cortisol.  Cortisol suppresses the immune system.

Sleep

Again the importance of sleep cannot be emphasized enough.  Our T-cells (white blood cells that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity) go down when we do not get enough sleep.

Whole, Natural Food

Nutritional fuel from whole, natural foods including important anti-oxidants are key for immune health.  An apple has more nutrition than applesauce which has more nutrition than apple juice.  For example an apple has 13% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.  Once it becomes applesauce this goes down to 2%.  And apple juice only has vitamin C because it is artificially added!  The more we process foods the less nutritious they are.  Heating food whether through canning or over cooking destroys nutrients.

Make sure to consume raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds every day to maximize your nutritional fuel.

Add lots of garlic to your food, it has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Supplements

Vitamin D – most Canadians should be taking at least 1000 IU vitamin D through the winter months.

If you feel that you are not able to incorporate all of the tips above you may want to consider the following supplements.

Zinc (30 mg daily + 2mg of copper)

Vitamin C (1000 mg morning, noon and night)

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Posted in diet, exercise, Nutrition, sleep
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