We have been having the most beautiful sunny autumn days here in Berlin, but the leaves have gone from gold and red to burnt brown and are all falling off the trees, the evenings are rapidly shortening and the temperature is definitely dropping, which can only mean one thing... Winter is certainly on it's way. So many people around me have been feeling the effects of the season change and have been falling sick or are just feeling "under the weather" as the Brits say. So I thought I would share a few tips with you on boosting your immune system so you can continue to live your life to the full everyday!
Your body is the most remarkable thing... It is constantly working to fight off diseases, regenerate cells, strengthen and heal. For your body to work at it's full potential it requires balance and harmony with your mind, meaning you have a role to play and decisions to make when it comes to looking after your health. Although there are many contrasting ideas out there on how best to look after your body during the winter months, lifestyle and diet clearly play a very important role.
Here are a few of the things I like to do to keep feeling my best:
1. LEMON AND GINGER - I start every morning with lemon in hot water every day of the year, but through the winter months I love to throw in some Ginger. It is simple, quick and cheap yet full of benefits. High in antioxidants which fight off free radicals in the body, a great source of vitamin C which has been famous for it's immune boosting qualities for centuries and the ginger has anti inflammatory qualities as well. It is also very alkalizing for your body, which creates the best environment for your white bloods cells to thrive. It is said to be great for your skin and hair as well, just as a side note! Add it to your water throughout the day and make sure to drink lots!
2. CUT THE SUGAR - It's not secret that I am not a fan of the white stuff... I'm not talking about complex natural sugars but the simple, refined sugars found in soft drinks, cereals, cakes etc. Sugar affects your ability to focus, to make decisions, your energy but it also is proven to dampen your immune system. So Mary Poppins was well off when she sung "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine goes down" actually it counteracts it. It suppresses the body's ability to respond to viruses. Stay away and go for naturally sweet snacks like berries, apples or dates.
3. GET MOVING - Those who are physically active are less likely to fall ill then those who are not. Exercise helps you to develop healthy and strong internal organs and systems... it's not all about the muscles. So even though it's cold outside try and find a way to stay active through the cooler months. Find a fun dance or yoga class, join a gym, or just keep cycling and get a good hat, gloves, coat and bike lights! Being active also helps you to sleep better, effecting your mood and stress levels, which also helps your body strengthen your immune system so it's an all round win.
4. DARK LEAFY VEGETABLES - We all know that eating our greens is good for us, but really it is! Full of vitamins like C and K and minerals such as Iron and Calcium, dark leafy greens are also full of antioxidants so get them into your diet.
5. SUPERFOODS - I know they can be expensive but the powders last a long time and they keep you able to work and feeling great so in my opinion they are more than worth it. Find a superfood powder you can add to smoothies. Chlorella is an algae that actually clings to toxins in your body and carries them out of your system, the perfect detox! Spirulina boosts your endurance and muscle power and helps to reduce blood pressure.
6. GARLIC - It's anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It has a long list of health benefits but it needs to be fresh, not dry or in powder form! It maybe a little smelly but it tastes great and it fights the flu so get it in your cooking.
I hope these tips help you to feel your best throughout the temperature dropping. Here is a SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIE that will get you on your way:
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM SMOOTHIE - Makes 1 big one or 2 little ones
You Will Need:
Very straight forward... Peel the banana, the avocado and pit the dates and throw them in a blender with the spinach and the slices of ginger. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze as much juice from them as you can. Try not to let any of the pips fall in.
Throw the water and in blend together until nice and smooth. You will probably have a few chunks in there from the dates but that's ok... these are really tasty, sweet chunks. Then add in your superfood powder. Mine is a mix of Spirulina, Chlorella, Hemp, Maca, Lucuma, Barley Grass, Cacao and Kelp by 'Have a superlife'. Sometimes I just use Matcha tea. nu3 online have really great ones. Or Teatox is another great brand. You can also find the individual Superfood powders in most health food stores.
Happy Monday xxx