Our wellbeing guru shares how she’s planning to stay strong and healthy this winter
The whole world is focused on preventative health in a way we have never seen before, with immunity being top of the pile. It is no secret that Covid-19 is still a very real threat with winter upon us. A strong immune system is our best fight against colds, the flu and viruses because they love to hack into a weak immune system. So, here are my tips for keeping your health in check this festive season:
Did you know that chronic stress suppresses the immune system? The tense situation with the pandemic is having an impact on our levels of anxiety and stress. A suppressed immune system means immune cell numbers decline. For this reason alone, you should put the brakes on stressful situations as early as possible and find the relief strategies that work for you.
- By its very nature, the word ‘stress’ is stressful. Switch the word out and instead use something fun and trivial, like ‘funky’.
- Breathe. A basic function, I know; but the most vital. So do it more, and do it slowly.
- Switch out social media for some meditation apps. There are plenty of free or paid-for apps out there, such as Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ meditations on Alexa or Calm, Headspace and Unplug.
- Switch the word ’busy’ to ’productive’. You will find this simple word change will reframe how you view your schedule, and your work-life balance will be more stable.
2. Gut health:
Did you know that you can boost your immune health by making sure your gut health is in good condition? Good gut health can help to eliminate chronic diseases and immune issues.
- Take a good probiotic. My probiotic of choice is called Symprove.
- Bacteria love fibre, so include plenty of wholegrains and pulses in your diet.
- Switch from sugary, processed foods, artificial sweeteners and unhealthy fats to plenty of fresh fruit and veg and fermented foods.
3. Good diet:
Keeping your diet in check is key to a strong immune system. So stock up on the following:
- Parsley keeps the immune system strong, heals the nervous system and contains vital vitamins, including vitamins A, C, B12 and K.
- Sweet potatoes are chock full of beta carotene which is essential for vision and a healthy immune system.
- Goji berries are thought to contain more iron than spinach, more beta-carotene than carrots, plus vitamin C, B2 and A, iron and selenium.
Who knew that getting more z’s could help to keep your immune system strong. Going to bed with too many thoughts can destroy a good night’s sleep, and a bad night’s sleep will ruin your day, so in turn, you will be tired, run down and weaken your immunity.
- Try not to watch TV in bed, and without a doubt, leave your phone in another room.
- Your phone, social media, emails and phone calls have absolutely no place in your sleep sanctuary. Blue light also suppresses melatonin, a hormone made by your brain that helps to control your daily sleep-wake cycles. This hero hormone is not only important for healthy sleep patterns, it is also anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, and has antioxidant effects.
- Use a lavender oil in a diffuser before you go to bed or spray REN sleep spray on your pillow.
- Take magnesium before bed.