Do you want to avoid getting sick this winter season? It can be a real challenge, and sometimes sickness even feels inevitable, but there are steps you can take to actually prevent it from happening.
Here are 7 different natural ways that you can avoid getting sick this winter season.
Cleanliness is huge. You don’t want to overdo it, because there’s a lot of research that shows you do need to get exposed to some germs in order to fight them off.
But there is something to be said for showering or taking a bath daily.
I like to do epsom salt baths, and you can even add in some baking soda for some detoxification.
You might need to wash your sheets a little more often so that they’re fresh. You also want to make sure you’re washing the utensils that you’re eating with.
You can do this either by putting them through the dishwasher or simply cleaning them with hot water.
You also need to make sure that you’re washing your fruits and vegetables before eating them.
I like to use things like silver serum whenever I need a natural antibiotic.
Wiping down and sanitizing surfaces in your home is also a good step to take. Oversanitizing has its negative effects because there’s a lot of chemicals involved, but we do need to stay clean.
2. Vitamin C-Based Food
A 2006 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating vitamin C-based foods will help bolster your immune system and ward off colds and flus, especially if you’re stressed.
Why when you’re stressed?
Your adrenal glands house up to 80-90% of the vitamin C that you need each day, and it’s depleted because we’re stressed every day.
That means the more stress that you have, the more you’re going to strain your immune system.
One way to prevent and ward off colds and flus is to get more vitamin C. Taking high-dose vitamin C supplements is one option.
Some excellent vitamin C based foods include:
- Acerola Cherry
All of these have more vitamin C in them than oranges do.
If you’re supplementing for vitamin C, be sure that there are no artificial sweeteners involved.
A lot of the over-the-counter vitamin C capsules or powders have a ton of Ace-K or NutraSweet in them. These are very toxic, and you’ll actually make your immune system worse off if you take them.
Cortisol helps the body fight inflammation and disease, but when this hormone is constantly being released in people that are chronically stressed, it lowers their immune system’s effectiveness.
Having some cortisol is good, but we have to limit how much is being released.
Too much cortisol can result in a lot of inflammation, arthritic-type diseases, and a depleted immune system.
My favorite coping mechanism for stress is breathing. You can take a one-minute breathing break.
This will have an incredible effect on your heart rate variability and get the cortisol in your system down.
You just want to do a 5-second deep breath in, and a 5-second deep breath out. Do this for a minute or two multiple times a day, and you’ll see that it’s incredible at fighting off stress.
If you can focus your brain on something that makes you smile during that time, it will have an even bigger impact.
Going to bed earlier will also help reduce the levels of cortisol a bit.
4. Avoid Alcohol
New research shows that drinking alcohol can damage the body’s dendritic cells.
Dendritic cells are a vital part of the immune system.
An increase in alcohol consumption over a period of time can actually increase a person’s exposure to bacteria and viruses because of the damage it causes.
A study in the Journal of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology compared the dendritic cells and immune system cell responses in alcohol-fed mice to mice without alcohol.
Alcohol suppressed the immunity in the mice to varying degrees, which proves that if you are regularly drinking alcohol, you are setting yourself up to get sick in the winter cold and flu time.
If you want to cut out alcohol, I recommend non-alcoholic drinks, like sparkling water.
You can also put lemon or cucumber in your water if you need something flavorful to drink.
You can also try different forms of coffee if it’s earlier in the day, or smoothies for later in the day.
Teas are an excellent source if you just need something to sip on. Even kombucha or other fermented drinks are a way better option than alcohol.
A study found that healthy adult participants who slept a minimum of 8 hours over a two-week period of time showed a greater resistance to viruses.
Rest is what your body makes you do once you get a cold, flu, or virus anyway!
Those that slept 7 hours or less each night were about 3% more likely to develop a viral infection after an exposure.
One reason that this is happening is because the body releases cytokines during extended periods of sleep.
Cytokines are a type of protein that help the body fight off infection that regulate the immune system.
Every night, you produce cytokines to fight off what you came into contact with that day.
The best way to get them is through more rest. If you’re struggling with sleep, I have videos that have some hacks for better sleep.
You can also try taking my Calm supplement, which has melatonin, lemon balm, and other herbs that help you rest better.
I like to take an epsom salt bath before bed. I also recommend getting the light out of your room, and getting the temperature down.
Get some rest now, or the cold or flu will make you rest!
6. Movement & Exercise
According to a study in the Journal of Neurological Clinicians, regular exercise keeps inflammation and chronic disease at bay, and reduces stress and stress-related hormones like cortisol.
When you are moving, you are increasing blood flow, which means white blood cells are going to get into more areas of your body.
You might have gotten exposed to a virus or microbe in the lungs, nose, or even the skin. By circulating white blood cells, you increase the probability of those cells taking care of any invaders faster.
It may feel a little counterintuitive, but you want to get both enough rest and enough movement in.
You can get your exercise in as little as 10 minutes a day, and it’s a good way to keep your blood moving.
7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D supplementation is super important. When you don’t have the sun in the sky during winter months, it’s harder to get vitamin D, so you need to supplement for it.
Vitamin D is crucial because it bolsters the immune system. Having high enough levels gives you a 75% reduction in your chances of getting a virus.
You are two times more likely to get a virus if your vitamin D levels are low, so we want to get them above 50.
Vitamin D3 is the type you’re looking for, not vitamin D2. You also want to take it with vitamin K2, because it will help keep calcium out of the blood vessels and put it into your bones.
K2 will also optimize the absorption of your vitamin D3.
You can get 244% more vitamin D3 absorbed into your system if you take it with the fat-soluble vitamins E, K2, and A.
If you add in zinc and probiotics, you’ll absorb even more D3.
You also need to supplement with magnesium while taking vitamin D3, because magnesium will help convert D3 to the usable form.
I have several videos that you can watch that can help break this down further.
My vitamin D complex has all of these ingredients, and you can take it to help fight infections.
If you want to know more about vitamins D3 and C, and other things you can do to fight an infection once you already have it, check out my video that covers it here.