We believe that prevention is better cure. Fortunately winters in Egypt are mild but it’s still advised to take charge of your immunity at the beginning of the season in order to try to minimize exposure to unwanted winter colds and flus.
BodyBlocks has some helpful pointers on how nutrition can help you get ready for wintertime.
Lack of vitamin D has been linked to a higher risk of coming down with the flu. Boost your immunity by exposing yourself to the sun (before 11:00 am) or in afternoon (after 3:00 pm) to avoid sunburn. Expose your face, arms and hands to the sun without sunscreen for about 10 minutes in summer and around 15-20 minutes in the cooler months. Consume vitamin D rich foods like oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), mushrooms and full fat milk. It is recommended you do a blood test to check your levels and if found to be low, supplements are your best bet along with sun exposure to rebalance levels.
Zinc is found in every one of your cells and can be critical for healthy cell development and function. It can help to improve wound healing and improved thyroid function, gut health, blood clotting, vision and smell. Most importantly, zinc boosts immunity – when zinc is deficient (as it is in an estimated 2 billion people worldwide) there is reduced function in your T cells, which act as soldiers for your immune system. Eat foods rich in zinc like clams, shrimp, pumpkin & flax seeds, lean beef, spinach, tahini paste, cashews and raw cacao. It’s also recommended that you check your zinc levels before taking a supplement.
Heal Your Gut
Research shows that when your levels of bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria your immune system is weakened. Your gut can also affect your immunity if you have chronic digestive issues like acid reflux and leaky gut. Take a good quality probiotic supplement to boost levels of good bacteria and focus on probiotic-rich foods (foods that feed healthy bacteria) like fermented foods (kimchi, miso) and yogurt.
The high sulfur content in garlic does more than boost the flavor in food. It has potent antibiotic actions and supports your liver to more effectively carry out detoxification. This, in turn, reduces toxins that can contribute to inflammation, which compromises immunity. Garlic is also rich in selenium, an essential mineral which ramps up immunity and may help women fight back against breast cancer.
Up Your Antioxidants
To maintain good health, you also need plenty of nutrient-dense choices to boost your immune system and balance your hormones. That’s where foods high in antioxidants come in. They reverse the impacts of excess hormone levels and stabilize particles that cause harm in your body reducing risk of illness and disease. Aim for 6-10 servings of colorful vegetables, leafy greens and low GI fruits daily- think rainbow!