Welcome to the season where our immune system takes a hit and colds and other illnesses run rampant. As the holiday season kicks off many of us are not getting enough sleep and we’re already stressing about everything that we need to accomplish over the next few weeks.
There are a few simple ways to naturally improve your immune system and keep you healthy throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important for maintaining a strong immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover from an illness.
When stress lasts for a long period of time it becomes chronic stress or bad stress. Chronic stress can lead to a weakened immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and other illness. Over the years I’ve turned towards my yoga practice to help with stress management. There are so many different types of yoga so it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs. If yoga isn’t your thing there are plenty of other options to help alleviate chronic stress. Meditation, deep breathing, exercise and massage are great stress busters.
Eat Your Veggies
Add as much kale, broccoli, lettuce and cabbage as you can into your diet. Eating cuciferous vegetables on a regular basis will help support liver function and boost your immunity.
Overall Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can pave the way for optimal health.
- Caffeine in moderation is OK, but there is such a thing as too much caffeine and it messes with your sleep.
- Avoid processed sugar and processed foods-especially before bedtime.
- Consume foods that are rich in magnesium: leafy green vegetables, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower seeds, salmon and halibut contain high levels of magnesium.
- Drink chamomile tea which contains tryptophan (also found in turkey), an amino acid known for its tranquilizing effects. When taken as a tea infusion, these properties act as a relaxant in our bodies and help to promote sleep.
During the winter months it’s important to keep active. Exercise could boost your immune system and possibly even help it guard against cancer. Try to schedule regular activity throughout the day and make exercise a priority.
How do you stay healthy throughout the year?