Welcome to your better IMMUNITY!
We are so excited to support you with your immunity through winter this year!! In this time of COVID-19 and the continuing emergence of changes in the south of our great country, I think a bit of a view around the role of the human body and yourself in maintaining your immunity is paramount at this time.
We are pretty blessed in Central Queensland to have a mild winter, except for this morning ;), but it does go someway to allowing us to ensure we stay a bit healthier. So here are Dr. Ali's top tips for ensuring the immune health of yourself and your family for the next few months!
I'm pretty sure that you are sick of me harping on about sleep, but it is so very important. In an article by the Mayo clinic (you can find it here), they state that if you don't get good quality sleep, or enough of it, can increase your chance of contracting a virus/bacteria when you are exposed to it. Sleep is also vital for recovery from illness. So ensuring you are trying to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night is great. And if you are getting woken by little people, then making sure that you try and get to bed a little earlier, or a cheeky middle of the day 5 or 10 minute nap to boost those sleep stores would be amazing for you!
2. SUNSHINE & OUTDOORS
Vitamin D is an essential element to our immunity. The winter sun is the perfect time to get out and get those rays onto your skin. In the summer, it's pretty easy to get our Vitamin D, unless we are going from home, to car, to office, to car, to home again. In the winter, the warmth of the gentle sun (except possibly in the middle of the day) is just delightful. And being in nature is also one of the key ways to get our immunity happening! Finding an outdoor activity we love is just so very important for us to stay healthy. I'd love to hear what you love to do outdoors. For me its a walk on the beach!
3. FOOD CHOICES
I could talk about this all day, but ensuring that you have an adequate food intake of the rainbow colours of food is really important. There are of course some foods than have extra benefit. Naturally occurring whole food Vitamin C that is coupled with iron, think a fresh Orange Juice and some big fat ol spinach leaves, is a great way to boost it up. But all the colour is essential. Especially some of those red coloured veggies, think beetroot, pink dragonfruit, purple carrots, blueberries, all the cooked colours!
4. WATER INTAKE
If you are anything like me in the winter, having an adequate water intake is a bit tough. I kinda don't get thirsty like I do in the summertime, and I just forget. Then all of a sudden I'm thirsty again and it's all coming back to remind me, that I've had all of two glasses.
So for me in the wintertime, I have 1 or 2 glasses of warm water straight away in the morning, before anything else. Then I have a bottle on my desk so that I'm constantly reminded, and I try to drink one before lunch, one after lunch, and then some in the evenings. That way I'm aiming to get above the 2L/day, and ensure that I am adequately hydrated.
5. MINDFUL MINUTES
Taking a mindful minute (thanks radio station for this great name), is a key way to decrease stress. Stress is a known impact on the ability of our immune system to be at its best. Those pesky stress hormones, and more than that, the neurological cascade of stress in our system, shuts down(or slows down) a lot of the key elements of digestion, respiratory rate, blood flow throughout the body... all having possible impacts on our immunity.
Consciously taking a minute, or 5 or 10 to connect back in, to realise the potential that you have and to just concentrate on your breath and your body... it's like a magic moment for how you function, both inside and out!
When we get sick, or feel the beginnings of this starting to kick in, there are a few well researched vitamins we can take too support ourselves. Echiniacea, zinc, garlic and Vitamin C are all well known for their benefits. I love the Bioceuticals Armaforce range, we stock it here at Innate, and use the junior for the kids, and sell the pregnancy version too. At home I also have Olive Leaf Extract, and the Sambucol too. Really just recognising that this can be part of your response when you feel your immune system kicking in to do exactly what it is designed to do... combat a response to an unknown element in your system, and to support it.... it's great.
Movement in our body can really help to keep our lymphatic system pumping. This system pumps through a lot of the waste products and gets them back to get out of our body via bowel/bladder/skin excretory systems. Regular movement is really great to help support this. Just like the world has seasons, so do we as humans. You may find yourself yearning a different movement pattern in one time of the year compared to another. Maybe you've switched to slower yoga and pilates for winter, and hit the heavy stuff in the summer... it's all normal, just honour that movement is required and keep your body zinging along.
So that's my wrap up of keeping our immunity up during this winter months. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me at your next visit!