The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and cold and flu season is ramping up. But don’t let the winter blues get you down! In this article, we’ll explore 7 research-backed ways you can elevate your immunity and thrive this season.
I recently released a podcast episode all about immune-boosting hacks and holistic habits for wellness. I’ll highlight the key takeaways here to help you implement small, sustainable changes that set you up for health and happiness. Let’s dive in!
Sip on Bone
Broth Bone broth is all the rage, and for good reason! This savory, protein-packed soup is brimming with nutrients like collagen, glutamine, and glycine that support gut health and immune function. Sipping bone broth provides easily-absorbed minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for whole body nourishment.
Studies show that bone broth’s abundance of amino acids and immune cells called macrophages can fend off infection and reduce inflammation. You can find pre-made options at grocers like Whole Foods and PCC, or make your own batch at home with bones from chicken, beef, or fish. Aim for 1 cup daily to elevate immunity!
Brush Away Toxins with Dry Brushing
An at-home detox helper, dry brushing boosts circulation, improves skin health, and supports your lymphatic system. Using a stiff-bristled brush, brush skin in circular motions towards your heart before showering. Start at your feet and work upwards.
This stimulates lymph nodes and helps toxins flow out of tissues. You may notice a lumpiness or redness as old waste products are loosened – don’t worry, this is a normal detox response! After a week or two, that should subside as your system drains more efficiently. Dry brush daily to see glowing results.
Get Creative with Immune-Boosting Foods
Food is medicine! Pump up your produce intake with antioxidant-rich and probiotic-packed foods that nourish your immune system. Play with pumpkin in nourishing chia puddings, oats, soups and more. Food bloggers and Instagrammers offer endless inspiration for making healthy eating delicious!
Fill your plate with a rainbow of veggies, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, fermented foods like sauerkraut for gut health, and lean proteins like salmon. An anti-inflammatory diet is key to staying resilient. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and make self-care scrumptious!
While food comes first, targeted supplements can fill any nutritional gaps and take your immunity to the next level. Vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and probiotics have extensive research behind their immune-enhancing abilities.
Vitamin C is a tried and true cold fighter, while zinc helps balance the immune response. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D, especially in winter – add 2000 IU daily to optimize immune cell function. Probiotics add “good bacteria” to the gut microbiome, improving resilience. Meet with an integrative provider to craft a personalized protocol.
Harness the Healing Power of IV Vitamins
If you have gut issues or don’t absorb nutrients well, IV vitamin therapy can be a game changer! Getting an infusion allows nutrients to bypass the GI tract and go straight into cells.
High dose vitamin C not only fends off infection but aids long COVID recovery and reduces hospital stays. Glutathione is the body’s “master antioxidant” and enhances detoxification. Personalized IV cocktails deliver an immunity boost exactly when you need it. Seek experienced functional medicine practitioners for optimal benefits.
Sweat it Out with Sauna Therapy
Beyond just relaxation, sauna usage offers science-backed benefits: it improves cardiovascular function, moves lymph, induces a “fever” against germs, and aids detox through sweating. Using a full-spectrum infrared sauna 2-3x weekly is ideal, but any sauna time counts!
Start low, like 10 minutes at 130°F and work upwards slowly. Stay hydrated and listen to your body. As part of a holistic wellness plan, sauna therapy strengthens immunity and boosts overall health. Bonus – it helps reduce stress! Seek clarity from your doctor before starting.
The Key is Consistency!
Elevating your wellness is about consistency, not perfection! Focus on small, simple changes you can stick with long-term. Swap sugary cereal for oatmeal, go for a 30 minute walk, drink an extra glass of water, add a veggie to each meal.
Wellness is a lifelong journey. Be kind to yourself and celebrate each small win! Building healthy habits over time lets you thrive this season and beyond.
Stay Well! The colder months don’t have to derail your wellness goals. From bone broth to sauna sessions, supplements to self-care foods, nourish and nurture your body with these research-backed tips. Partner with a functional or naturopathic doctor for personalized guidance.
What are your favorite immune-boosting habits? I’d love to hear in the comments! Wishing you a cozy, healthy winter. Let’s elevate our wellbeing together this season.
Your bi-monthly dose of health, healing, and happiness insights with Dr. Angila Jaeggli ND, Co-Host Barry Napier, and Guests. Sharing the best in naturopathic medicine so you can live your best life.
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