It may be getting warmer, but sickness can still hit you during spring and summer – and there’s nothing like a cold or flu to ruin your fun in the sun. Taking care of your immune system year-round is an important habit to adopt, so take on board the below tips to help your body stay healthy and energetic.
Foods to Include
Promoting lung health is a good way to prevent sickness, so add vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli to your weekly dinners. Astringent drying foods and spices such as turmeric, ginger, pomegranate, millet and corn are great for combating colds and chesty coughs. Adding a teaspoon of ginger to your tea or smoothie and a teaspoon of turmeric to curries, stir fries and juices is an easy way to incorporate them into your diet.
It’s in the Bowel
Chinese and Indian (Ayurveda) medicine claims you are more likely to catch a cold or flu if your digestive system is already compromised. Fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy bowel, so eating high-fibre breads and cereals, brown rice, quinoa and chickpeas is a good idea. Fruit also has a high fibre content – try to eat 2-3 pieces a day. If you don’t like eating fruit on its own, add it to smoothies, baking or just stew it and have it with your morning cereal. If you work in a sedentary job, your bowel can become lazy from a lack of movement. To counter this, perform core-focused exercises whenever possible, even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day. Crunches, sit-ups and leg raises will stimulate and strengthen this area.
It’s no secret that vitamin C is crucial for boosting the immunity and maintaining overall wellbeing. You can get your daily fill in a number of ways – eating citrus fruits, particularly oranges, will increase your vitamin C levels, and other foods such as strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli and capsicums are also good sources. If you find it difficult to add these into your meal plan every day, taking 1-2 vitamin C tablets daily is another option.
Recharge and Reflect
Avoid eating late and try to make sure you are in bed by 10pm to give your body a chance to recharge and restore. Spend a little time with yourself; winter is an excellent time for some introspection, to review the year so far and look at the plans you would like to cultivate in the coming months.
SMART TIP: Drinking plenty of fluids can ease a cold as it prevents dehydration and loosens congestion.
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