During the colder months of the year, our overall wellness and immunity often drop due to a few factors. Such as not getting enough sun, more seasonal bugs, what food is in season, less daily activity and often not enough rest. Focusing on our diet during this time requires some more thought as we change from fresh fruit and salad to more soups and stews.
Gut Health & Diet
Our gut health plays a main role in our immune response and nutrient status. Having a variety of beneficial gut flora helps our immune response, with over 70% of our immune cells located within our gut, our digestive system is a core driver of our wellness. You can boost this through a healthy diet and the use of probiotics as needed.
Because we are all different our dietary needs require personalisation to ensure optimal wellbeing. Some indicators can be based on your age, gender and the amount of exercise you do. Finding what suits your lifestyle and your specific dietary requirements is often the best way forward. This can be a trial-and-error process, something like a food diary can help. A food diary documents your food to showcase what foods help or hinder and with the help of a qualified practitioner, you can determine what works best for you.
1. Unprocessed foods.
The foods we eat impact our health directly these nutrients in our food become the largest part of our everyday health and vitality. Fresh unprocessed foods that are still rich in nutrients and enzymes can help the digestive process and deliver the needed nutrients for vitality.
2. Include Vitamin C rich foods.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that assists in the growth of bones, tendons, ligaments & skin. It also helps with immune function and is an antioxidant helping prevent damage in the body. Think capsicums, kiwifruit and citruses like mandarins, oranges and lemons. Vitamin
Staying hydrated is essential to most body functions so it’s important to make sure you keep up with your requirements daily. It is great for flushing your body’s toxins and maintaining skin health among many other functions. However, during winter it often drops off when it’s cold but having hot drinks, teas or warm night-time cuppas can help reach your daily requirements.
Getting the right amount of fibre in our diet is so important to help with regular digestion. Ensuring you eat enough insoluble fibre reduces the chances of constipation which can be a reason for bloating, gas and discomfort. Ensuring your digestion is optimal helps with the absorption of your nutrients from your food.
Low iron is quite common, especially in women and prolonged low iron can result in anaemia which can cause extreme tiredness or fatigue. Ensure you have it checked with a blood test and you can work with a health professional to ensure you get the correct amount from nutrition or supplements. To help with the absorption of iron ensuring you have Vitamin C at the same time you have iron enhances absorption.
Including movement improves digestion and enhances mood. Regular exercise also helps lower disease risk and health concerns. It strengthens bones and muscles and can help improve your sleep.
Make sure you sleep enough by going to bed by 10 pm and ensuring that you sleep 7 – 9 hours. Sleep supports healthy brain function, cell repair and growth, immune function, and emotional health and also restores your energy.
For additional support for everyday immunity for the family, try one of these: