Keep Your Immune System Strong this Winter

honesttea

Day 38/366.....Sun-KissedWe’re well into the cold and flu season. How are you staying healthy through the holidays?

I’ve been implementing more preventative remedies into my lifestyle to keep my immune system strong and healthy.

Here’s some natural, easy tips to stay healthy and glowing this winter, eliminating the need for crash diets come spring or a cabinet full of medicine to get you through the cold season.

Start and End Your Day with Lemon & Water.
You’ve probably seen this advice everywhere lately. Lemon juice gives you a daily boost of Vitamin C and help keep your bowels healthy to boot.

Try adding it in a couple days a week to start, then gradually increase it to every day. It’ll become a routine before you know it.

Honey & Lemon for Sore Throats & Coughs.

Growing up, my mom would give us honey and lemon for our sore throats. This felt more like a dessert than a medicine, and it always went down easy.

This might sound like an old wives’ tale, but it turns out honey and lemon can soothe sore throats as well as help with coughs.

Tea.

Hot tea is so comforting in cold weather and also a great way to get daily antiioxidants in your system. Take your pick from green, black, or herbal tea.

I’ve taken to cutting up four or five slices of fresh ginger and steeping them in hot water like tea for 5 to 10 minutes. I add half a lemon and get my Vitamin C, as well as the multitude of benefits housed in ginger.

Rest.

This probably sounds impossible this time of year, but it’s one of the most beneficial and preventative gifts you can give your body this season. Take 3o minutes and do some restorative yoga or take 10 minutes to meditate when you wake up or before you go to sleep. Your immune system and brain will thank you.

Refuel After Exercise with Healthy Drinks.

Gatorade might be your go-to drink after a run or hot yoga class, but here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Sports drinks can pack an unneeded punch of sugar in with the potassium and electrolytes. When you’re checking labels, look for these other names sugar can hide behind: Corn syrup, Dextrose, Fructose, or High fructose corn syrup. Try diluting your favorite sports drink with a little water or experiment with some of these healthy alternatives:

  • Honest Ade. A naturally sweetened thirst-quencher made with Organic, Fair Trade ingredients that are easy to pronounce.
  • Chocolate milk. Yes, you read that right. Chocolate milk. In a study by Mayo Clinic, low-fat milk was “equivalent or better for fueling, repairing and building muscle.”
  • Home-made. Make your own sport’s drink! Before you write this option off as too much trouble, check out how simple it is to do.

This recipe comes from Barbara Lewin, a sports nutrition specialist. According to Lewin, an eight-ounce serving provides 50 calories and 110 mg sodium. Shake up the ingredients below and drink up!

3.5 cups water

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Coconut Water. This is an increasingly popular choice as a healthy substitute for sports drinks. Unless you’re drinking it out of a coconut, however, most coconut water doesn’t contain enough sodium to truly compare with traditional sports drinks. It’s a great option for healthy hydration, though, as the average athlete doesn’t need the sodium and sugar levels present in most fruit and sports drinks.

Probiotics. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria our intestines need to stay healthy and balanced. While this good bacteria can be found in foods like yogurt, miso, and drinks like Kobucha, if you notice your diet falls short in this area, Probiotic supplements are as close as your nearest drug store.

Paying attention to our bodies and giving them the nutrients and attention they need will help keep us healthy through the winter and able to enjoy our lives and families fully.

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photo by: Denise Cross
Monique Minahan

About Monique Minahan

Monique Minahan is a writer and yoga teacher offering her heart to the world through words that motivate, inspire, and encourage. Connect with her at mindfulmo.com.

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