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  • Sharon Hultzer

Leveling up our Immunity



Our immune system is an intricate battalion of warriors ready to defend us against onslaught from invaders.  If it’s working effectively, we should make it through winter without needing boxes of throat lozenges and flu medication.



 

These warriors are constantly fighting off bacteria and viruses that we come into contact with in our environment.  They can either be strengthened or weakened by our lifestyle choices, and always recover best while we sleep.  Here are a few tips to help boost your immune system this winter.


 

Berry splurge

Stock up on juicy strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries - frozen or fresh!  Berries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants (which help our bodies fight damage from most onslaughts of modern lifestyles).  Dried berries lose their vitamin C content but retain all their antioxidant punch.


 

  • Start your day with a delicious mix of berries added to your porridge or smoothie.

  • End off lunchtime with a handful of berries.

  • Make a batch of bran muffins with berries added into the mix. (Muffins are great to have in the freezer ready for popping into lunchboxes)

  • Serve apple and berry crumble with custard as a healthy warm pudding. 

 

Drop the Sugar


Refined sugar suppresses the immune system and distracts it from the critical job of fighting bad bacteria.  Rather enjoy a fresh fruit or a handful of dried fruit as your “sweet fix” – cutting down on chocolates and sweets.  Keep a filled fruit bowl in a prominent place to remind you of the healthier alternative.

 








Eat all your vegetables!

…not only as a bribe to get some pudding!  Raw vegetables are the best option, so load sandwiches with fresh lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber.  For those cold nights, what about a freshly made vegetable soup?  One bowl of piping hot soup can give you four or five servings of vegetables all at once. 

 




Spend some time outside

Most of us spend 90% or more of our time indoors – which also means we’re breathing other people’s germs and sharing the ventilation system’s air!  Step outside and breathe some fresh air – and while you’re at it get some exercise!  Exercise helps to relieve accumulated stress hormones – which is a key factor in keeping the immune system working well.

 




Get enough sleep

Night time is repair time on the battle front.  Our immune system strengthens with adequate sleep, so make sure you get all the rest you need.  Some people need merely 6 hours a night while others function best with 10 hours.   


 

Boosting your immune system will help to keep those prowling winter viruses at bay, and also stand you in good stead for the rest of the year ahead.


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