WINTER WONDERS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY

As we have now said goodbye to the sunshine and head towards greyer, darker days, many of us will be wondering how to keep our immune systems healthy and happy.

Now, more than ever before, it’s crucial that we care for our bodies and give them plenty of TLC (Tender Loving Care) to help protect ourselves from viruses, nasties and other germs.

Want to know how you can sharpen up your defenses? Here are ten of our favourite lifestyle hacks to boost your immunity this autumn and winter!

  1. Warming Foods

Chinese medicine advocates that we embrace warming, cozy spices and foods (it is believed that these foods raise ‘yang’, meaning heat, in the body, helping to boost energy and circulation) as temperatures begin to drop. This means sipping on plenty of teas, snuggling with blankets, eating hearty comfort foods and keeping toasty at all times! Our organic cinnamon powder are perfect for adding to warm water for a naturally sweet and cosy drink, while our organic ginger powder tastes delicious sprinkled into porridge for a breakfast that will heat you from top-to-toe!

  1. Ditch Sugar

While it may seem tempting to reach for sugary, indulgent foods when the skies are grey and the days are long, these foods can be inflammatory and affect our natural immunity. In a similar way, overly-processed foods can also weaken the immune system, with added chemicals, flavourings and allergens all upsetting our delicate microbiome. 

  1. Spice Up Your Life

We’ve already mentioned a few of our hero spices, cinnamon and ginger, but autumn and winter are the time to spice up all your favourite foods! Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, garlic and ginger pack in plenty of flavour without the need of processed ingredients. They also come packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral super powers. In other words, they’re true winter wonders!

Check out the recipes that our Dhow Fam have created for some really delicious ideas.

  1. Eat the Rainbow

We can’t stress this one enough - eating the rainbow is one of the most beneficial things you can do, both for your health and for your body! Each different color of fruit and veg is packed with varying nutrients and antioxidants, which we need to keep our bodies healthy and fighting fit ready for flu season.

  1. Drink Up!

Staying hydrated is crucial to help our body function at its best - it helps us feel energised and alert, clear our heads, and even keep our skin fresh and glowing. But did you know that sipping on water regularly can also help to support the immune system? While you may screw your nose up at the idea of drinking cold water, herbal teas and warming broths all count towards your water intake, so drink up!

  1. Boost Your Gut

More and more, scientists and doctors are starting to recognise the importance of a healthy, happy and thriving gut. Not only can our bacterial friends help to boost our mood and our digestive system, but they’re also important for fighting off nasties, too. Make sure you give your gut plenty of loving - you might like to add some probiotic foods (such as sauerkraut, kefir or kimchi) to your diet to boost your good bacteria, while prebiotic foods (think fibrous plant foods such as onions, garlic and Jerusalem artichokes) feed these same bacteria, keeping them happy and healthy! Our gluten free range is all absolutely fibre rich, it includes; organic green banana flour, sweet potato flour, jackfruit flour & breadfruit flour. All of which are extremely effective in controlling blood sugar!

  1. Stay Mindful

Stress can have a huge impact on our health and our immune system - when we’re tired and run down, we’re more likely to get sick and stay sick. This is because soaring levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) stops the immune system from revving up and fighting off any nasties and viruses.  Autumn and winter are the perfect times to indulge in extra self care and prioritise your mind and your sleep. Ask yourself at the end of each day: what is it I need in this moment? How can I care for myself today? Spending time with loved ones and socialising in particular has been proven to boost our health.

  1. Move Your Body

Exercise is known to help to strengthen the body and boost the immune system, so aim to get moving every day. However, as a word of warning, too much heavy and intense exercise can stress your body, leaving you more vulnerable to viruses and illnesses. It’s important to tune into your body and listen to your own natural energy levels - do what make you feel good and rest if you’re tired.

  1. A Spot in the Sun

While sunshine may be scarce when we move deep into the winter months, aim to get outdoors and soak up any rays if possible. Not only will this boost your mood and your energy levels (bonus: it will also help to synch your Circadian Rhythm, which is crucial for healthy sleep!), but it will also ensure you get plenty of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D. Vitamin D is believed to play a big role in immunity, so it’s important that you supplement if sunshine is hard to come by during the next few months.

  1.  Get a Furry Friend!

While this might seem like an odd tip, hear us out...not only does stroking or hugging a furry friend help to boost oxytocin (AKA the love hormone) and lower cortisol in the body, but dogs in particular have been shown to boost the immune response in children and even make them less prone to allergies!

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Dhow X Samantha Hadadi

Sam is a health coach, specialising in women’s health and hormones. She helps frazzled, busy women to love their bodies, enjoy PMS-free lives and to feel energised. She is also a plant-based cook and has four boys. In this piece she talks about the 5 main foods best for female hormonal health.

 

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