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Prevention and Minor Ailments

5 tips to prepare for winter

By November 9, 2018 March 10th, 2019 No Comments
prévention maladies hiver prevention sickness winter

Autumn is the perfect time to boost your immune system and prepare you to cope with seasonal viruses. It is not necessarily possible to completely prevent winter diseases but if you follow my advice, you will have a good chance of not getting sick!

TIP # 1: Exercise

It’s not always easy to stay motivated to go to the gym or go out for a run when the temperatures are colder. However,  there are plenty of benefits to doing some exercice. For example, the endorphins secreted during the effort will give a boost to your mood.

Speed walk or cycle to work, do some exercices at home, and if it helps find friends to motivate you! Personally, I am not always super rigorous on that point…

However, be careful not to overdo it, as a too frequent and too intense physical activity can weaken your microbiota and lead to a greater sensitivity to viruses. Everything is a question of balance!

TIP # 2: Pay attention to your diet

Have you ever noticed that when the cold weather arrives, you tend to crave richer food? And that burgers, pizzas and other comforting dishes are even more appealing than usual?

The reason for that is the winter blues that makes you want comfort food. But, do not get fooled by this as if you want to stay healthy, you have to eat healthy too!

  • Eat seasonal (and local, which is much better for the environment) fruits. You will find here a calendar of seasonal products (relevant for UK) to help you with your food shopping.
    Soups are a great meal option in winter, however, avoid pureed soups. Indeed, these have more sugars and in particular industrial ones. The best way to keep all the vitamins and micro-nutrients of vegetables is to steam them or cooking them as a broth.
  • Eat foods that are source of good fats, like Omega 3, to help your body cope with cold: fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines but also nuts, seaweed, chia seeds, rapeseed, soy or nut oils etc.
    If you are vegetarian or vegan, it will be a little more complicated for you to have sufficient intake of the three different types of fatty acids. But I’ll talk about it in more detail in a dedicated post soon.
    Cook your dishes with spices such as turmeric, which is a natural antimicrobial, or garlic and coriander that boost immunity. Be careful however if you are taking anticoagulant treatments with the use of some of these spices.

TIP # 3: Stay hydrated

Since the weather is not as hot, you probably feel less thirsty than in summer, but that is not a reason to forget to drink. It’s not because you do not sweat less than your body does not need water as much.

Water has many benefits for your body and your health and boosts the elimination of toxins.

To hydrate, avoid excitants like tea or coffee. Favour herbal teas or even better hot or warm water (but not boiling) rather than cold water. Indeed, in addition to hydration, hot water helps you to digest better and is more efficient at getting rid of toxins.

TIP # 4: Detox!

To prepare your body to cope with virus attacks, it must be to the best of its ability. To help with this, nothing is better than a detox treatment.

The liver is the organ in charge of detoxification. It removes foreign substances called xenobiotics by transforming them into a soluble compound. This compound will then be evacuated by your body in the urine or stool. This process takes time and, after a while, the liver can become overwhelmed.

Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda recommend drinking a cup of hot water in the morning before taking any food  in order to purify your body. If you take this good daily habit, that is already a great start!

Another great thing as well, is to take some supplements to clean your liver. I personally recommend black radish. Indeed, thanks to its action on the secretion of bile, it allows a better elimination of toxins.

I usually repeat the treatment after the holiday season to cleanse the liver from the excesses of Christmas 🙂

TIP # 5: Take care of your gut

The balance of your intestinal microbiota is essential for your health. It is the cornerstone of your immunity. This is why you must take care of it by following a healthy diet. For a start, avoid sugars in your diet and this especially in the evening.

I also take some probiotics (strains lactobacillus and bifidus) just before winter to strengthen my intestinal flora. This helps prepare it to react better to pathogenic bacteria and prevent them from settling in your gut.

 

I hope my health tips will help you!

It’s your turn to share 🙂 What are your tips for getting ready for winter?
Tell us about it in the comments below or on social media.

Hélène

Author Hélène

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