December 2, 2022

5 Wellness Tips to Keep your Immune System in Shape This Winter!

Keep your immune system strong with these nutrition and wellness tips!

Cold and flu season is here! The numbers of people coughing, and sneezing are increasing each day, so what can you do to help keep your immune system strong?

1.) Get adequate sleep!

  • Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night is one of the most effective ways to help your body recover and strengthen its immune system.
  • Quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. Practice good sleep hygiene to ensure your body is getting the most restful sleep each night
    • Keep your sleeping space cool (~67-69 degrees)
    • Keep the room as dark as possible
    • Avoid screen time 60 minutes before bed

2.) Stay hydrated!

Most of us drink less water as the temperatures get colder, but hydration is still critical to keeping your body strong.

  • Aim to drink at least ½ of your bodyweight in ounces each day For a 120 pound person, that equates to 60 ounces of fluid
  • Drinking warm beverages like tea not only warms you up but has been shown to improve mood levels too!

3.) Eat foods rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep our immune systems strong

  • Some Vitamin C rich foods are: citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and leafy greens
  • Add a few a few extra servings of these foods into your diet this time of year!
  • Swap an orange for an apple with breakfast
  • Add a handful of spinach to a smoothie
  • Roast up some broccoli for a dinner side dish
  • Did you know Vitamin C is also important for collagen formation? So your skin, hair and nails will benefit from this too!

4.) Eat foods rich in Zinc

Zinc is an important micronutrient that supports many aspects of our immune health

  • Zinc is found in highest amounts in animal foods. Vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for zinc deficiency
  • Zinc rich foods include: meat, poultry, shellfish, nuts/seeds, legumes

5.) Take care of your gut!

Billions of bacteria live in our guts. This “microbiome” is directly related to the health of our immune system.

  • Research has shown that individuals consuming probiotic foods (contain healthy bacteria) have a stronger immune response to nasal and oral infections
  • Probiotic foods include: yogurt, kefir, pickles, miso, and kombucha among others.
  • Eating more fiber rich foods like fruits and vegetables also helps your gut health. These are “prebiotic” foods which help support your healthy gut bacteria.