We’re in the middle of winter, and unfortunately, there are the unwanted and dreaded sicknesses floating around. So, today I’m sharing my top winter health tips so you can avoid getting sick this winter and enjoy more moments with your family and friends. It’s important to note that staying healthy in winter doesn’t have to be complicated! The key is that you just need to prioritize the following wellness tips for winter.
Consume Healthy Winter Foods
Stock up Your Natural Medicine Cabinet
Gear Up & Get Outside
Wash Your Hands
Take Care of Your Mental Health
If you’re wondering how to avoid getting sick in winter, let’s start with your diet. Eating loads of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory filled food, especially during this time can help your body fight foreign invaders that come its way.
I know it can be easy to grab processed foods in the cold winter months like comforting frozen dinners and pizza (easy peasy), but these can increase your inflammation and weaken your immune system, making you more prone to get getting sick. Also, consumption of excess sugar, alcohol, and caffeine can negatively impact your immune system.
Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Winter squashes can make a great warm winter soup and you can load it up with veggies
Pomegranates or frozen berries can be a great way to get in your daily antioxidants.
I also love sipping on warm bone broth…pretty much every day!
Red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, garlic, ginger and spinach are also great ingredients to throw into a meal for the immune-boosting perks.
Incorporating a variety of veggies into your diet can help your gut health by diversifying your gut microbiome, and bone broths contain gelatin and collagen, which helps heal your gut lining. Remember that a healthy gut lining is especially vital for optimal immune response.
You can drink bone broth by itself or include it in soups with ginger and garlic for their extra immune-boosting properties. FOND Bone Broth is one of my favorite kinds of bone broth that I get all the time. If you use code “TAYLORDUKES,” you can get 20% off your first order.
Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with healthy supplements before something that’s going around catches you. Daily supplements can help keep your immune system in tip-top shape so you can avoid getting hit hard with symptoms. Great immune support should especially include vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc. They won’t always prevent you from getting sick but they can also help shorten the severity and duration of illness when it hits.
Taking daily Vitamin C in the winter months is a must, especially during stressful times and sickness. When you are stressed, your adrenals use up more vitamin C to respond to the stress by making cortisol (and I know we are all a bit more stressed than normal these past 2 years, right?)
If you feel a cold coming on or if a person in your home comes down with a cold, you can increase your intake to 1000-4000mg and even pair it with 30 mg zinc for the best immune support. This can ameliorate any symptoms and even shorten the duration the cold. One study even showed that people who took 1000mg a day, had 30% fewer total days where they were confined to their house or had to call off work.
If you need to stock up your family natural medicine cabinet, read my article “Good Supplements to Have on Hand for Kiddos”, and you can order your quality supplements off of the highly-trusted FullScript online shop.
Some people say that there’s no such thing as bad weather….just bad clothes! I like this perspective! Not only does being exposed to fresh air and sunshine help regulate your circadian rhythm, it can actually have a positive impact on your immune system. Getting outside, even for just a few minutes in the winter months is vital for your vitamin D levels, which is a nutrient necessary in optimal immune response.
The thing is, your body creates its own vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you can’t get enough sunlight every day, be sure to get a high-quality Vitamin D supplement and take a dose that is right for your body. Optimal Vitamin D levels are around 70. You can also consume Vitamin D rich foods such as salmon and beef liver.
A Vitamin D supplement is vital to keeping your immune system happy, especially during this pandemic since vitamin D deficiencies have been shown to increase the severity of COVID symptoms. So, taking a daily dose of Vitamin D can help reduce your risk of severe COVID symptoms!
As it gets darker earlier, you may feel tired earlier. Instead of pushing yourself to stay up to 10 pm, listen to your body and get the extra rest! In fact, your body’s immune response works best when you have adequate amounts of sleep.
Research shows that if you are sleep-deprived, your immune system doesn’t respond as effectively, making you more prone to sickness. I recommend getting the entire house on a regular schedule so that everyone gets enough sleep to reduce all your risk of sickness (and meltdowns, let’s be honest). This will make for a healthy, happy household! If you need more tips to get better sleep, read my article here on Healthy Sleep Habits.
Ahh you may roll your eyes at this simple winter health tip, but it’s a super-effective way to reduce the spread of germs and sickness in your house and community! Especially if your kiddos are in daycare or spend time meeting up with larger crowds, make it a routine to come home and wash hands right away before anything else. Sometimes we have to go back to the basics to stay healthy- eating whole foods, prioritizing sleep, and following healthy hygiene practices!
In the summer months, we have hours of sunlight to enjoy evenings outside, going for walks, and talking with neighbors to feel connected. In the colder and darker months of the year, well, staying healthy in winter isn’t as convenient for us.
We find ourselves spending more time in front of the TV, scrolling through social media, staying sedentary. This is not good for our mental health, as you can imagine. Some people may even struggle with seasonal depression.
Poor mental health is linked to higher bouts of inflammation. Chronic inflammation can actually reduce your immune system’s response to common colds and viruses. This is why it’s so important that you take care of yourself- physically, emotionally, and mentally! Remember, we need to keep you healthy, mama, to keep the kids healthy!
So, take some time to do some self-care instead of mindlessly binge-watching Netflix shows. Take an hour to get a solid bath with Epsom salts, take time to call a family member to catch up and connect. Pick up a book, or do some stretching before bedtime to help your body get ready for sleep.
These things aren’t hard, but it does require you to make a conscious decision to start doing them. Doing these things can enhance your immunity and reduce the chances of catching an illness.
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