7 quick recovery tips if you feel like you have got a cold brewing
Today’s email is all about practical tips to fuel your immune system.
Because the number of clients that I’m seeing me in on my Online Nutrition Clinic with stinking colds, that achy feeling, & just feeling ‘bleuugh’ is too high, so I hope this email arms you with some practical tips, so you can keep snug and healthy this winter.
In no particular order, here are my 7 tips….
1). START WITH VITAMIN C
The first place to start is to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system to help fight off bugs. Try increasing your intake of broccoli, kale, citrus fruit, kiwifruit and asparagus, and ensure that you are consuming vitamin C rich food each day, as this is not a nutrient the body can store.
2). SLOW-COOKED SOUPS AND STEWS
Ensure you are eating lots of slow-cooked meals containing plenty of vegetables. Soups and broths are a wonderful way to keep yourself nourished and your immune system supported. Vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and selenium are a just a few of the vitamins and minerals that are important for our immune system.
Add warming spices like turmeric and cumin to give your immune system a boost. Use hearty vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower and pumpkin for a flavour and nutrient boost! Or make a beautiful bone broth and flavour with fresh chili and coriander.
3). DOSE UP ON THE B-VITAMIN FAMILY
B vitamins are found in whole grains like quinoa, millet, brown rice and oats, as well as dark-green leafy vegetables. B vitamins help to regulate the immune response and amount of antibodies produced to fight an infection. If you follow a gluten-free or grain-free diet, you may like to consider a B vitamin supplement to ensure adequate intake.
4). BEFRIEND HERBS
There are so many that are beneficial when fighting winter ailments. Thyme is an antiseptic and a digestive aid and is great to use in winter cooking or teas. It also makes a wonderful remedy for coughs. Eucalyptus or tea tree oil can be used to help with blocked sinuses and can be inhaled via a steam bath.
Liquid herbs such as liquorice, astragalus and echinacea can be used in both the prevention and treatment of winter ailments such as sore throats, runny noses or blocked sinuses.
Echinacea has been used as an immune system supporting herb for centuries. It is best-used long term and helps to modulate the amount of white blood cells present, which are what fight infection in the body. I advise that you consult with a medical herbalist for guidance with dosage and use of echinacea.
5). KEEP WARM
Also be sure to keep your body warm. Pay particular attention to keeping your kidneys warm, across your chest and around your neck.
Hot water bottles are great for this, or getting an electric blanket so you can hibernate in bed if you’re feeling a touch of that achy feeling coming on. If you have access to a bath, fill it up with toasty water and keep a big glass of water by your side to rehydrate at the same time.
6). BONE BROTH
Other things to try during long periods of not feeling your best include the addition of bone broth to your diet. Simple chicken or beef stock consumed over the day helps to boost your immune system as it is full of minerals to support repair. The addition of some spices like turmeric and ginger can make it a very warming and nourishing drink to enjoy over the cooler months.
Reducing stress is critical to help your body repair. Schedule time to diaphragmatically breathe (i.e. deep breathe) each day to help lower stress hormone production, as this signals to the body that it is safe (not in danger – which is what stress hormones can communicate), and can focus on rest and repair work – which includes good immune function. Just 5 slow deep breaths in the morning, afternoon and evening is a fantastic starting point.