Self-Care Tips for Building a Healthy Immune System in Cooler Months| November 28, 2022
“When the time comes, move with the season
Lend your young ear to the sound of day” Temples.
Seasonal changes in our bodies are real. Our cells respond differently, having an impact in our respiratory and immune system, as they become less resilient.
It has been found that lower temperatures allow a higher risk for infections, slow down chemical reactions and create a friendlier environment for viruses to survive.
So what can we do to stay healthy and strong during these times, especially in the middle of a still going pandemic.
Here are some of my favorite:
Here are some of my favorite:
ADD A VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT
Vitamin D is made in our body in response to UV Sunlight, where our liver and kidneys take part of the process and covert this Vitamin into what is actually a hormone, and the body can use.
It helps our Immune System to work better; it protects against inflammation, certain types of cancer and depression, which are all related to the health of our immune system (and gut!)
During sunny seasons our bodies can rely on the sun to store enough Vitamin D for the cooler months, but as we find ourselves in these seasons we need to add a little extra to not deplete this supply.
I’m a big advocate of getting nutrients, vitamins and minerals through foods, as they absorb better than supplements, and also encourages us to add more foods into our diets, but sadly, there are very little food sources where we can find it, and those are the Fatty tissues of animals that are grass fed out in the sun and create the fat soluble hormone, which is ok to eat every other day/week, but not depend on it as a main source.
Adding a good quality Supplement is enough. The amounts vary from person to person. People with low Immune Systems may need up to 10,000 IU’s, as for people with healthier system may need 5,000 IU’s. I always recommend taking a nutrient panel to see how your levels of Vitamin and Minerals are doing.
Supplements come in many sizes and price options. Usually cheaper options may have fillers and paper traces and give very little supplement. I always say that investing in your health, is preventing disease and avoiding future visits to the doctors and meds.
EAT SEASONAL, LOCAL, ORGANIC… as best as you can.
It’s rough to keep this as a perfect lifestyle. Unless you have the means, the time and the access to these. But little efforts go a long way.
Certain foods grow during certain season because it’s what we as humans need. We have bitter greens sprouting in the spring to cleanse the sluggishness from the winter, and we have root starchy vegetables to ground us and provide more warming nourishment internally in the cold. We also have citruses, hibiscus and rosehips that offer Vitamin C, which most of us know is great ally for the Immune System and beat off colds. Elderflowers turn into berries, which are one of the most ancient and powerful herb medicines for Immunity,
And why is organic important? Well, the amount of pesticides and pollutants in our environment, products and foods these days affect the health of our immune system. We can’t control all pf them, but what we put in and on our body, we can!
Hit the local farmers markets (ask if they use pesticides), and support the local economy and farmers of where you live. You will also get to see a shit load of new foods and get inspired to use them.
BUT ALSO WHOLE FOODS ARE IMPORTANT
We live in a time where quick and easy is the go to. This has become the go to in food as well, and these foods tend to be highly processed which our body does not have the ability to recognize and process, and here is where inflammation takes place and A LOT of diseases show up (hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, mood disorders, sleep disorders, digestive, etc, etc, etc…). These foods are asking for our bodies to work harder than they already need to.
When we create a better foundation through the foods we eat, we create a better immune system.
Rule of gold: avoid boxed foods. Be mindful of dairy, starches (these turn into sugar), sugars, and some animal meats (grass fed is always better).
MOVEMENT. SWEAT & THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM… plus a bit more.
Oh how I love thee, lymph. Such a pretty looking tree-like system that’s deeply rooted to our immune function. This system is in charge of moving and delivering the nutrients, cells, and removing waste through our body, composed of nodes and vessels that, if they get swollen, will jack up the whole system.
Heat is our best friend when it comes to keeping the lymph in constant movement. And how do we do this
- By moving! Walk, run, yoga, dance it out. Literally: you gotta create the movement.
- Scrubbing. Salts, scrubs, dry brush are all great to create external heat and move some more. Adding some oils like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom to your scrub will add some heat and aroma.
- Now, ingesting herbs that will help with movement internally: ginger, cardamom, cayenne, pepper, onion, garlic. Sounds like chai time to me (and/or Fire Cider).
INCORPORATE IMMUNE BOOSTING HERBS
Herbs have a place in health when used right, and not relied solely for results. These do not cure it all, nor fix it all. They are an extension to support a healthy lifestyle. They are an extension to vital and nourishing foods. Herbs with an affinity to the immune system may be used year round as a preventative or when sickness is creeping in.
My all time faves are: Elderberry, Elderflower, Astragalus, Reishi, Eleuthero, Rosehip, Citrus Peel, Hibiscus,
You can also get our: IMMUNE SUPPORT TINCTURE and/or ELDERBERRY LUNG SYRUP.
“For the coming on of winter resolves the diseases of summer, and the coming on of summer removes those of winter,” wrote the father of medicine, the Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates, in 400 B.C.