Top tips to boost your immunity this winter

With the cold weather well and truly upon us and many surrounded by work colleagues, partners and our children who can be a hotbed of germs it is critical you ensure your immune system stays in top shape.

To keep yourself fighting fit this winter here are some simple tips:

1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to ensure you receive a wide range of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants so you can perform at your best. Try to get as many of these nutrients as possible from fresh, whole foods: vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken and lean meats. Steer clear of processed foods high in sugar and fats which place extra stress on your body.

2. Take a daily probiotic. Since an estimated 70% of your immune system resides in your gut, and good probiotic (beneficial) bacteria levels are a major contributor to gut health, supplementing with a high strength, multi-strain probiotic that has been specifically developed to support immunity will put you on the front foot.

3. Increase your garlic intake. Garlic boasts anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties so is a must in your winter wellness arsenal. Best of all it tastes amazing in most dishes so add liberally to warming winter pasta sauces, stews and curries.

4. Get your Vitamin C hit. Although most people think of oranges, lemons and grapefruit when you say ‘Vitamin C’, there are some other great and tasty sources which should try and incorporate into your diet each day. The best ones are chilli pepper, capsicum, dark leafy greens such as broccoli and kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, berries, kiwi fruit, tomato, and papaya.

5. Get enough sleep. Without enough zzzz’s your immune system can become compromised. Although everyone’s needs vary, you should aim to get 7-8 hours sleep each night to perform at your best.  You should wake feeling refreshed and alive, rather than drowsy and exhausted.

6. Drink plenty of water. Water is needed by every cell – including your immune cells – to function at their best.  Choose filtered water or green/herbal teas and avoid caffeinated, sugary soft drinks, which may depress your immunity.

7. Be active. Whilst intense exercise temporarily lowers your immune response, moderate activity can in fact boost immunity.  Take care though and give yourself time to recover before your next workout. A Mysore yoga class is a great option as you can work at your own pace and take your practice back a step.

8. Chill out – and have some fun! Stress triggers your body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline – hormones that interfere with immune response.  Relaxation techniques, meditation, hypnosis and simply listening to calming music can help to counteract these hormones. Remember to also let go and have some fun. Nothing beats a good belly laugh for getting our immune system pumping.