Even the thought of winter has the potential to fill us with dread. Every year, the flu viruses seem to get stronger and more resistant, leaving us flailing for ways to increase our own resilience and strengthen immunity.
The good news is that there are lots of easy, straightforward and even fun ways to boost immunity and vitality in the bleak, cold months. Our top tips are:
- Join the bone broth craze: With less variety of fresh produce available in the cooler months, we need to look for other ways to amp up our nutrition. Slow cooked bone-broth has enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent years, and with good reason. Bone broth is a rich source of minerals, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, the amino acid glycine, as well as collagen, which helps to reduce inflammation and improve gut health. Bone broth can be used as a base for delicious winter soups and stews, and even enjoyed on its own – piping hot from a mug and seasoned with salt, pepper and a zesty squeeze of lemon.
- Nurture indoor plants: Offering so much more than aesthetic improvement and soul-warming, carefully chosen indoor plants are powerful air purifiers. Our green friends can help us to breathe easy in the home and office by removing airborne toxins like mould spores, allergens, chemical residues and even fecal-based particles (ew!) from the air. Plants are such effective air purifiers that NASA has studied them extensively, recommending spider plants, aloe vera, several species of ivy, fern and palm and the beautiful peace lily as especially potent specimens.
- Wash your hands and get a great hand sanitiser: It’s been long established that effective hand washing and sanitising is one of the most powerful ways to reduce germ contagion, or spread. And yet, it’s so easy to go through the day without even thinking to wash or sanitise our hands aside from after meals and toilet visits. Experts recommend two-hourly cleansing, particularly during the cold and flu season. A standard liquid soap at home or in public bathrooms is fine, and there are an increasing range of easily available, non-toxic hand sanitisers available at supermarkets and health food stores.
- Rest up: Early sunsets and late sunrises, plus the chill in the air: the Winter season really does call us to increase our rest. And yet, many of us are stuck in the ‘soldier on’ mindset, remaining as frantic and active as we do in the warmer months. While we can’t necessarily control work and family demands on our time and energy, we can prioritise resting self-care to honour our bodies needs. This could mean extra meditation or restorative yoga sessions through the week, earlier nights and quiet evenings, and even the occasional guilt-free ‘pyjama day’!
- Lactoferrin to the rescue: An innovative new ingredient, Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein sourced from high quality dairy. Very similar in structure to the Lactoferrin produced by our own immune system, dairy sourced Lactoferrin has been shown to positively influence the function and efficiency of lymphocytes, phagocytes and other important immune system cells, while also fighting bacteria, fungi and viruses. Lactoferrin has been shown to significantly decrease the symptom severity and frequency of the common cold when taken as a daily supplement in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.