Tips to Support Our Body's Immune Function in Winter
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
There are things we could do to assist our body's immune function, especially during the winter months.
Buy Organic. I know this could make some people cringe, because of the added cost. Some ways to make it less expensive is go to discount food chains. For example, Walmart and Aldi now carry organic. Another option could be buying the store brand.
Eat a variety of vegetables and some fruit. These provide the body with important nutrients. Different vegetables have different phytonutrients, so variety is good. Phytonutrients are natural chemicals derived some the plant that are believed to support our immune function. Fruits like berries have antioxidants that help with free radicals. Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber that assists the body with elimination.
Laugh. Watch a funny movie, socialize with a friend that make you laugh or just try and find the humor in life. Laughter helps to decrease tension, increase endorphins/growth hormones and help to break humans out of negative mindsets and gain a new perspective.
Get enough sleep. Healthy Adults need between 7-9 hours per night. Babies, young adults and teens need more. Immune function and sleep have a direct link according to the sleep foundation. When we go to sleep everything slows down and gives the body time to restore.
Add Herbs and Spices to food. Some suggestions are turmeric, ginger, garlic, ashwagandha, cinnamon, basil, spearmint and cloves.
Walk in Nature. Nature helps the body to relax, decreases cortisol levels and blood pressure. Trees like pines give off essential oils that help assist our immune function.
Use natural cleaning products. This cuts down on the amount of chemicals our bodies have to process.
Practice Mindfulness. Some practices like yoga, Tia Chi and Qigong have mindfulness as a component. I put together a workshop that I will be downloading to my website on Cultivating Mindfulness. It will go over what mindfulness is, how to set the stage, a technique to help relax the nervous system and then go over some mindful techniques. Mindfulness helps to decrease anxiety and stress. It is an important skill we could utilize during these challenging times.
Listen to music that uplifts your spirit. We could all have an emotional reaction to music. Sometimes music could tap into a fun past experience and bring up a good cellular memory, help us feel less alone or make us feel like moving. Our immune function happens when we are in our body parasympathetic nervous system. Things that help us relax and uplift our mood help us get into the parasympathetic nervous system.
Move. Almost every system of the body is optimized by movement. Add more walking into your day, develop an exercise regimen, dance, do yoga, Tia Chi or Qigong. Listen to your body's needs and check with your doctor to find out what would be best for you.