Winter is a time when you're bound to get some sort of illness: A nasty cold, runny nose, sore throat, ear infections... yuck! Why is that? Why do we get sicker during the winter?
As the cold weather sets in, viruses look for a warm and damp place to settle in... here they come, in our nose, ears, through our mouths! Ewww!
There are ways to prevent illnesses by boosting your immune system. Here are our top Raising Kids Naturally tips:
TIP #1: Rest, rest, rest!
If you're not sleeping well at night, having interrupted sleep that wakes you up (either cause your kids are waking up or you need to visit the bathroom), then your immune system can take a bit of a tumble.
Welcome the NAP! If you are able to, take a nap. Forget about chores and shopping for 15 minutes, and nap. If you can't, then either sleep in a bit longer, have a rest while your dinner's cooking in the slow cooker, or earlier to bed.
Your body heals when it sleeps and it doesn't have to concentrate on anything else. A nap does a body wonders!
TIP #2: Green it up
Eat your greens man! Steamed or quick-stir fried veggies can do your body a lot of good. It will make your system more alkaline and supportive to fighting infection.
Try steaming some spinach with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil. Rough chop a zucchini, or a broccoli, and stir-fry it in a pan. The darker the veggies, the better for you to boost immune system.
TIP #3: Skip the sugar
Yes, it may be difficult, but the more sugar you consume, the sicker you'll be. It's a proven fact, as 1 teaspoon of sugar can shut down your immune system for FOUR HOURS. Say whaaat??
The harder your body has to work at digesting something, the less energy it will have to work on healing. Skip the sweets and go for the veg instead. You can thank yourself later by having a nice bowl of fresh berries... yum!
TIP #4: Fresh air
Breathing in fresh outdoor air, and then coming back inside to a warm home, does a body a lot of good. Get outside! Even if it's for a 5 minute walk, bundle up and go for a walk.
Another good way is to open up your windows at home for one minute... just one single minute! Let all that fresh winter air in your home and then close them up again.
TIP #5: Supplement
There's no better time to supplement with good-quality vitamins and minerals than at winter-time.
The most important ones to boost with during the winter:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Iron for women
- Vitamin B
- A multi-vitamin. Many naturopaths advise their patients to boost their multi's to twice per day (or even four times the amount!) during winter or when immune system is low. Consult with your health care person if in doubt, and for quantities specific to your own body.
TIP #6: Probiotics
We all have healthy bacteria. It's normal. It's not gross, and they have a very beneficial function: To clean out our gut so we can prevent illnesses. If you're not taking a probiotic, now's the time to start!
Probiotics can be taken by anyone, but it's best to get the recommendation from your naturopath to ensure young children can take a certain kind. Probiotics are found in foods too, however a supplemental probiotic is recommended to boost the immune system by cleaning out the bad bacteria that grows in our gut.
Best probiotics are often the refrigerated ones which you can buy at your local health food store or through a naturopath. Consult for advice! Here's where you can find a naturopath to help: CLICK.