1. Do you know what your immune systen loves more than anything? You have to want to be healthy to get healthy: “I’m going to do whatever it takes” attitude; to mean it and do it. Ah, happy immune system!
2. Get your body as alkaline as possible; alkalinity absorbs oxygen and repels yeast overgrowth. Start by reducing, ideally radically, sugar, grains, processed foods.
3. Be optimistic. Follow a negative thought or saying with one good positive one. Put positive words on notes round your house, or at work, just to remind you. Negativity can be infectious and pulls us down; optimism raises us and those around us as well.
4. Stay well hydrated. Drink enough of the right fluids to keep your immune system, circulation, digestion, metabolism and brain in top form. Aim for minimum of one and a 1/2 litres a day, between meals. Start your day with a good drink of hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it. You can add a bit of grated ginger as well – which you have just simmered a couple of minutes in a saucepan. Lemon and ginger are immune boosting, hydrating and energizing. You can make other types of ginger tea through the day, adding spices like cardamom, cayenne pepper; try cinnamonn, fennel and black pepper. These spices are all warming and good for circulation. It is good to remember that good hydration supports immunity by flushing out bacteria and viruses.
5. Arm yourself with Echinacea and Vitamin C. You want to take 1g vitamin C per day, stepping it up should you develop a cold or infection. If you are afraid of taking too much, you will know you have, should you develop diarrhoea. Echinacea is medicinal herb and is best left until you want to protect yourself against infection which is around you, or you feel those starting symptoms. Take it 3 times a day, and more frequently if a cold has seriously developed. These two boys, together with your ginger and lemon drinks should go a long way to ward off infections.
6. Be active this winter. It is less easy in the dark and cold, but for our whole well-being it is essential. Aim to plan a week’s exercise programme ahead of each week.
7. Make a green smoothie as often as you can. Why greens do you ask? Well, greens alkalize our systems and detoxify our bodies; they chase off germs and abnormal cells; they provide antioxidants and an abundance of nutrients which noursh and boost our immunity.
How to make a smoothie.
Start with one cupful of water into a blender, or you can use part non-dairy milk if you like. Add whatever you have to hand. Examples are: kale and broccoli, chopped up with the large stalks not included; celery, avocado, perhaps a half for one person, courgettes and cucumber. To the greens you can add: cereal grass powder, eg wheat or barley grass, micro-algae such as spirulina or chlorella. Parsley, basil, dill or any herbs at hand.
I also like to add some gogi berries, soaked overnight, with the soak water used in the base water in the blender.
If you, or those you are sharing with, want a sweet taste, then the recommended natural sweetener of choice is liquid Stevia. This is from a herb and is said to be less processed than many other natural sweeteners. Go easy as it is extremely sweet. Look online for other smoothie ideas. It makes an instant meal, or energy booster when suddenly wanting a healthy snack.
8. What supplements do I need for a healthy winter? I consider the following are essential:
Fish oil and Vitamin D and Vitamin C – for healthy immunity.
Probiotics/Acidophhilus – to help keep friendly bacteria in our gut.
Zinc acts as an anti-viral agent and stimulates immunity.
9. If you are prone to cold sores, the amino acid L.Lysine, available in capsules, take 500 – 1,000 per day for prevention. If you should get a cold sore, take 1,000mg – 3,000mg Lysine together with 2,000mg Vit C to speed recovery.
If you should suffer from cracked or chapped skin in winter, try Benzoin aromatherapy essential oil, blended in a little base cream.
10. Finally, try powdered shitake mushrooms and make a hot tea. You can also add it to potassium broth, bone broth, chicken or vegetable broth. Shitake in traditional Chinese medicine is used medicinally for all illnesses involving a depressed immune function, including infections, flus and colds and it soothes bronchial inflammation.
NB Check on Resources page on this website for websites which I have used to buy superfoods and other items not usually available in health food shops.