While Florida winters don't tend to reach chilling temperatures, that doesn't mean we get to bypass flu season. You may feel that leaving your house turns into a game of dodgeball as you try to avoid stuffy noses, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing all around you.
Is the answer to stay isolated in your own bubble or to become neurotic about spraying down every surface you touch with bleach? Of course not. Your best bet to stay healthy through sickness season is to reinforce your immune system to fight the coming storm.
In this article, our integrative doctor shares tips to stay healthy through the winter.
Supplement with Nutrients
Stay Away from Anti-Bacterial
Eat a Seasonal and Balanced Diet
It sounds like a given, but it can be easy to fall off track during the holiday season with sweets and heavy casseroles. While we fully believe in treating ourselves to those simple pleasures, it’s important to incorporate them in moderation.
Processed foods and sugars can increase inflammation and damage your immune system.
Focus on eating plenty of vegetables, especially those that are locally in season. Fermented foods can maintain your gut microbiome, therefore enhancing your immune system.
Don’t forget the protein – make it a priority to get 20 grams at each meal. Bone broth can keep you satiated with protein as well as hydrated. A two-for-one deal! You can easily incorporate anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting spices to create warming, comfort foods. Consider using:
When possible, use fresh versions of these spices, such as ginger root or garlic. This will allow you to receive the greatest nutritional impact.
When the chaos of the holiday season seems to eat up your schedule, exercise may be one of the first things to fall off your radar. However, regular exercise is vital for a healthy and active immune system.
Regular movement stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing cellular waste and harmful pathogens from the body through detoxification pathways. Without stimulating the lymphatic fluid to get flowing, your immune system will likely get lazy.
There are plenty of ways to get moving without it feeling like exercise. In our sunny state of Florida, there is no excuse for it being too cold to go outside. Going for a walk or hiking is a great way to get moving, breathe in some fresh air, soak in some sun for vitamin D, and connect to nature – all great for immune functioning!
Sleep is imperative for many aspects of your health. Is the time of day when our body and mind repair and reset.
Studies have shown strong connections between sleep and the immune system.
While we sleep, the body produces cytokines which are protein messengers for the immune system. Research also suggests that proper sleep promotes immune memory, meaning your body can recognize antigens and defend the body with less effort.
When our circadian rhythms are disrupted, it can lead to immune dysfunction. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to improve your sleep.
Supplement with Immune-Boosting Nutrients
With so many supplements that claim to boost immunity on the market, we advise you to work with a professional integrative doctor to create the best protocol for your unique needs. Certain supplements can have harmful effects when taken in high quantities. However, certain herbs and supplements can be incredibly beneficial this time of year.
Taking a high-quality probiotic will keep your gut and immune system in top shape. If you start to feel unwell or you know you’ve been exposed to sickness, bump up your vitamin C to 1000-2000 MG per day. You can also use Astragulus Root and Elderberry extract.
Stay Away from Antibacterial
At first glance, this may sound counterintuitive. However, many antibacterial sprays and soaps contain a boatload of neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors and boost the risk of resistant bacteria. They also harm the skin’s microbiome, causing dryness and itchiness that only gives pathogens a better chance of infecting your body.
At Seed and Soil Wellness, we suggest washing your hands frequently with good, old-fashioned water and natural soap. Most importantly, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty outside in nature!
Learn More > Find & Eliminate Environmental Stressors
Fortify Your System with Seed & Soil Wellness
Boosting your immune system this winter (and year-round) is important to stay healthy and fight off sickness. There are many simple ways to do this, such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Additionally, try to reduce stress in your life and take time to relax.
By following these tips, you can help keep your immune system strong all winter long. If you find yourself constantly getting sick and home remedies aren’t cutting it, reach out to Seed and Soil Wellness!
Too sick to leave the house? No worries! We offer telehealth services to support you at home, resting in bed.