Tips for staying immune this winter
The darker nights and colder weather can only mean one thing, Winter is coming. And whilst there’s lots to look forward to this season, keeping our nutrition on track can sometimes be difficult when we’re craving all that comfort food. With around 80% of our immune system located in our gut, it’s really no surprise that taking care of what we eat at this time of year can really help battle the dreaded cold and keep us healthy.
At District, we’re passionate about keeping you active and healthy so here’s a few top tips of what to include in your meals over the next few months to ensure your weekly workouts don’t turn into nights on the sofa fighting off the flu.
Try starting the day with a bowl of porridge. This healthy, slow-releasing meal is the perfect Winter warmer. Firstly oats contain high levels of zinc which are beneficial to our immune system but additionally you can add various toppings which act as health boosters. Eg. Porridge with banana and cinnamon. Bananas naturally contain tryptophan which the body uses to produce serotonin (the happy hormone!) whilst cinnamon is packed with antioxidants, aids digestion and helps boost your metabolism.
It can be really difficult getting all your portions of vegetables into your day and let’s face it, snacking on a carrot can be pretty dull. A great and super easy way to top up your veggie fill is by making a healthy homemade soup.
Here’s some of our favourite ingredients to include and why:
Capsicums – There’s around three times the amount of Vitamin C in a capsicum as there is in an orange! Vitamin C helps reduce fatigue whilst strengthening your immune system.
Root Vegetables such as carrots and kumara – They can add a little sweetness that you may be craving and are also great for Vitamin C.
Ginger – Not only does it add loads of flavour, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and also known to help nausea.
Garlic – Again, a great ingredient to add flavour but is also known to boost the immune system.
With the lack of exposure to the sun, it’s vital that we incorporate food rich in Vitamin D during the winter months. Vitamin D is associated with healthy bones and helping prevent disease.
Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon is great for getting Vit. D into the body, pairing this with leafy greens such as spinach and kale will also help boost your intake of iron.
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health and if you do feel unwell, it can help ease symptoms by preventing the throat and nose from drying out. Drinking warm water with a touch of honey (and a slice of lemon for that extra Vitamin C) is especially good for loosening mucus, ease coughing and moistening the throat.
As well as diet, it’s equally important to assess other lifestyle habits such sleep and exercise. A lack of either of these can often deplete our energy levels and leave us more vulnerable to germs.
So this winter, come see us at District for your mood and energy boosting classes. We promise to leave you feeling stronger, healthier…. And probably ready for a good night’s rest after!