Beauty and health go hand in hand and in our opinion, good health forms the foundation of beauty and is crucial for achieving that glowing skin, sparkling eye and general wellbeing we’re all looking for.
It’s no secret that Winter is the time of year that the cold and flu are at their peak, and with the current health crisis still taking shape, it’s more important than ever to focus on achieving good health.
It’s your immune systems job to defend your body against illness, and as luck would have it, it tends to be a little weaker in cold weather. It’s a complex system that takes a well-rounded approach to be functioning at its best but when it is, you’ll be on your way to feeling great, and looking good, all Winter long.
Here’s some of our favourite tips to boost your immune system…
- Eat the rainbow
Fruits and vegetables of all different colours serve immune boosting benefits. Of course, vitamin C is the big one so load up on grapefruits, red bell peppers, spinach and broccoli that are all high in vitamin C. Seeds and nuts are a great way to get some extra vitamin E and protein that helps to strengthen the body’s fight against sickness.
And don’t forget about herbs and spices. Cloves, oregano, cinnamon, thyme and cumin all have antiviral and antimicrobial properties as well as ginger and garlic.
- Stress less
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but reducing stress can have hugely beneficial impacts on your immune health. Stress can trigger the release of the hormone cortisol and when it’s consistently high for too long, it actually blocks your immune system from doing its job. The key here is not to try to be perfect. If you’re not the meditating, yoga and journaling type, try something different like a long walk, a boxing class or something creative like painting.
- Improve your sleep
Look, I hate it when people tell me to get more sleep too so I won’t tell you to. Instead, try and improve the quality of your sleep. Your body regenerates as you sleep and while that elusive eight hours is ideal, consistently getting fewer hours of deep uninterrupted sleep can be just as great at giving your body the time it needs to fight disease. Simple things like block out blinds, ear plugs, lavender spray or simply having a routine you follow every night to trigger your body to enter sleep mode can have a big impact.
- Cut back on the cocktails
It may be boring but unfortunately, cutting back on alcohol will help improve your immune system in the long run. If you do choose do drink, avoid anything that’s excessively high in sugar, like cocktails or pre-mixed drinks, and instead choose a high-quality red wine that’s full of antioxidants.
- Get outdoors to exercise
Exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases that would leave your immune system significantly susceptible to colds and the flu. Exercise also helps to release all those good endorphins that reduce feelings of pain and increase pleasure. It’s also a great stress reliever so stops hormones like cortisol from blocking your immune function. As for the outdoors bit, a little fresh air is good for anybody and studies have shown that very small exposure to germs triggers your body’s immune response that in turn strengthens it. A hit of vitamin D is also a plus.
- Keep things hygienic
I bet we’re all pros at washing and sanitising our hands every chance we get but as things go back to normal, don’t forget those good habits. Keeping your hands and any devices that go near your face clean can help prevent the transfer of germs that make us sick. If you can find them, carry antibacterial wipes with you to give your phone, headphones, laptop keys and hands a once over whenever you need.