Winter is upon us. And with it comes colder days, cosy nights in with Netflix… and the dreaded cold and flu season. This time of year is also notoriously busy as we power through to finish our work before the year’s end and find our schedules filling up fast with hectic holiday season plans.
With more viruses in the air and stress levels on the rise, now is the time to focus on boosting your immune system and arm your body the best defence against unwanted illnesses. We’ve put together our top 5 tips to strengthen your immunity and help your body stay healthy and strong this winter.
1. Drink more water
It comes as no surprise that drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is one of the most crucial ways to ward off unwanted germs, flush out any harmful toxins and maintain your overall health. As the weather cools down, you might find yourself reaching for your water bottle less than you probably should, so it’s important to remember to keep your fluids up!
Struggling to stay hydrated? Try these tips
- Set an alarm in your phone or on your smart watch to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day
- Up your hydration game with coconut water, which has the added benefit of electrolytes
- Warm up with an immunity-boosting herbal tea, such as lemon and ginger, turmeric and cinnamon or rooibos
2. Eat the rainbow
Do not underestimate the powerful disease-fighting potential of fruit and vegetables to give your immune system the boost it needs to thrive this winter. The more variety – or colour – of fruits and vegetables you have in your diet, the wider the range of essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants you’re feeding your body to keep your immune system functioning well and prevent unwanted illnesses.
So, what makes fruit and vegetables so good at fighting off illnesses? Well, it all comes down to their phytonutrients – the amazing plant compounds that have been found to support a healthy immune system and promote optimal health overall.
Not getting enough fruit and veg in your diet? Try these tips
- If you’re worried about not eating your fresh produce before it goes bad, opt for frozen fruit and vegetables – studies have shown that their nutrient levels remain fairly stable after freezing so you’ll still be getting an adequate nutritional benefit
- Add spinach, kale, beetroot, carrot or avocado into your favourite fruit smoothies – the sweetness of the fruit will mask the flavour of the veg so you’ll get all the benefits without compromising on taste
- Not a big vegetable fan? Hide them in your favourite meals! Grate carrot, zucchini and sweet potato into your tomato-based pasta sauces or try making these sweet pumpkin muffins for a healthy snack
3. Load up on Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc
Harness the immunity boosting power of vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc. Studies have shown that these essential vitamins and minerals can actively strengthen your immune system and build your natural defences against infections. If you do happen to catch a cold or flu this winter, vitamin C and zinc have also been proven to reduce the length and severity of the illness.
While vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc supplements can help to fill any nutritional gaps in your diet, it’s important to first ensure you’re getting enough of these nutrients through the foods you eat.
Need an easy way to up your intake? Try these tips
- Vitamin C – load up on citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, capsicum, sweet potato, cauliflower and dark green vegetables
- Vitamin D – apart from getting your daily dose of sunshine, you can also get this vitamin through egg yolk, oil fish and our very own BEAUTY coffee elixir, which contains Tremella, a functional mushroom that is loaded with vitamin D and antioxidants
- Zinc – meat and poultry are great sources of zinc, as well as legumes, pumpkin seeds, nuts and dairy products, such as milk and cheese
4. Harmonise your health and immunity with Reishi
Reishi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to strengthen the immune system and modulate the body’s stress and internal responses. The potent adaptogens found in Reishi help to calm the central nervous system and regulate the hormonal system. This helps to bring the body back into a state of homeostasis – that is, the body’s ability to maintain a stable and optimal internal environment despite changes in internal and external conditions.
Research has found that Reishi’s potent immune-boosting properties come from its abundance of polysaccharides, antioxidants and beta-glucans that support proper immune function and act as a defence mechanism against pathogens, viruses and bacteria.
Want to embrace the power of Reishi in your diet? Try this
- One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits of Reishi is to have a cup of our IMMUNITY coffee elixir, which is infused with a potent Reishi extract – simply pop the pod into your coffee machine and enjoy your coffee with an extra immunity boost!
5. Love your guts
Numerous studies have proven that a healthy gut microbiome is not only vital for the proper functioning of your digestive system, but it also plays a significant role in keeping your immune system strong. One of the best ways to support your gut health and promote microbiome diversity is to fill your diet with prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods.
Put simply, prebiotic foods contain a dietary fibre that feeds the good bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are made of healthy live bacteria that support your gut health and digestive system. The good bacteria and gut microbiota play a key role in regulating your immune homeostasis.
Want to show your guts some love? Try these tips
- Eat a serving of probiotic rich yoghurt every day
- Add more fermented foods into your diet, such as miso or fermented vegetables like sauerkraut
- Load up on prebiotic-rich foods, such as apples, bananas, asparagus, onions, leeks and garlic
- Probiotic supplements can also be taken alongside a probiotic-rich diet, but it’s recommended that you speak to your GP first to ensure this is right for you
Boosting your immunity this winter can be as easy as making your morning coffee
Our barista-quality, plant-based coffee elixirs are loaded with adaptogens, antioxidants and nutrients, offering you a simple and delicious way to get your daily dose of immune-boosting power.
Try our bold IMMUNITY elixir to harness the immunity strengthening power of Reishi or savour our smooth BEAUTY elixir, infused with vitamin D-rich Tremella to support your immune health and skin health.