I’ve been sick as a dog this past week!
Not that dog- she’s pretty happy and healthy.
It’s November 10th and we’re in the thick of flu season. Coworkers are falling like flies around us- myself included.
Make sure you’ve got your best defenses up with these natural remedies:
Get your Z’s!
You’ve heard it before- here’s why it’s important. When you sleep, your immune system lets out cytokines, or certain proteins. You need more cytokines when you’re sick to help fight infection, so you need to up your sleep. Even just a 20 minute nap during the day can give your body a protein boost.
Amp up your veggie game
You’re looking to get vitamins A, C, and zinc into your diet. Reach for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, citrus fruits, bell peppers, cauliflower, beans, chickpeas, kale, cashews, and almonds.
Stress can wreak havoc on our physical and mental wellness. Sleep loss, upset stomach, headaches, nausea, depression, muscle pains, and over/under eating can all be symptoms of stress. This is a great time of year to take up yoga or meditation, learn a breathing exercise, work on your fitness routine, or schedule more time to hang out with friends -even if they’re just the furry kind.
Try not to fight stress with other crutches- alcohol, junk food, TV. These may provide temporary relief but only add to your stress in the long run.
Lay off the sugar
I know you don’t want to hear it- the holidays are just around the corner! Hot cocoa, candy canes, cakes, pie, truffles, COOKIES.
I don’t want to hear it either. Anyone who knows me knows I have a pretty big sweet tooth. But sugar can cause serious wreckage to your immune system. Here’s why:
“Sugar has been shown to inhibit the immune system by preventing movement of white blood cells, your immune cells, to the area of infection. Sugar also prevents a particular type of white blood cell from eating up viruses and other bugs to manage infection.” -Today Integrative Health + Wellenss.
Limit your sweets- they should really be an occasional treat, not an every day guarantee. Keeping a food journal or using an app like Lift is a great way to keep tabs on your cravings. Many recipes can be modified to use half the sugar recommended and still be delicious, or you can try subbing in natural sweeteners like bananas, raw honey, or berries.
What are your go-to tricks for staying healthy during the colder months? Leave a comment below.