How to not get colds & flu's this winter (part one)

If you always catch whatever ‘bug’ is going around, or you don’t have time to get sick then read on as naturopath Sarah Grossemy explains how to avoid getting sick and how to get your body in the best form it can be in before people around you start sniffling and sneezing.  

Prevention

Are you prone to getting sick over the winter time? Do you always feel like you’re the one catches everything? As we all know, prevention is the best cure, therefore preparing your body for those cold winter months and boosting your immune system is always my pre-winter protocol. My favourite ways to boost the immune system are:

Herbs

Get on top of the health of your immune system before you start feeling run down by boosting your immune nutrients. One of the best ways of doing this is using herbs. You have probably heard of echinacea, it’s one of the most important herbs that comes to my mind for treating colds and flues but is also important in prevention. There are many other immune herbs that can help; a trained naturopath will help you get the right ones for your body based on your constitution and your symptoms.

Nutrition

A good way to make sure you are in the best health you can be is having lots of fruit and vegetables, and making sure some are raw. Having protein at every meal is important as well, this does not have to be meat, it can be a simple handful of nuts and seeds on the run. If you are struggling to get your 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day I suggest having a green smoothie in the morning which can be packed with many fruits and vegetables. 

Super foods can also play a role in improving your health if you feel you are not getting enough goodness from your diet. Including a couple of super foods in your daily diet can add that extra boost you need to improve your health.

Exercise

We know exercise know is a great stress buster and it also boosts your lymph and blood circulation all of which helps your body cope better with external pathogens. The simple act of sitting in the sun also serves its purpose, an increasing amount of people are becoming vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D has many roles in the body, bone health, making hormones, overall health and the immune system.

Gut health

Gut health plays an important role in how your body defends itself, antibiotic use, alcohol, medication and poor diet can contribute to unbalanced gut flora. Including fermented foods and fibre in your diet can help the good bacteria in your gut. Having good gut flora will help you digest foods, improve your overall health and help defend your body against bad bacteria and pathogens.

Stress

Prolonged stress depletes your immune system, when your body is under stress it changes the priority of functions, therefore making you more susceptible to catching a cold or flu. If you know your stress levels are high, then there are many ways naturopathic treatment can support your body to de-stress as well as build resilience.

So keeping healthy this winter is as simple as: exercise, drink plenty of water, make sure you get enough sun, eat a diverse healthy diet and keep your stress levels low.