Looking for natural ways to avoid illness this season? Here are 14 ways to strengthen your body and keep yourself healthy during the winter months:
- Go organic! Foods that come from the earth and are organic have a higher percentage across the board of nutrients per serving. Nutrients help your body stay in optimal condition, which makes staying healthy easier.
- Eliminate sugar. Sugar is an immune depressant and can cause your immune system’s ability to lower its strength for 5 or more hours after you consume it.
- Eliminate processed foods, prepare from scratch and with real, whole ingredients as often as possible. For example, use real butter and healthy oils for cooking such as extra virgin, organic coconut, palm oil, and cold-pressed grapeseed oil (for good Omega 6s essential fatty acids). Avoid trans-fats and genetically-modified oils like canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, and butter substitutes. Use real organic extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil in home-made salad dressings with garlic, salt, pepper, and other seasonings, lemon juice, and vinegars like red wine, balsamic, and apple cider.
- Drink filtered water, but don’t be obsessed about 8 eight once glasses daily. Remember that eating nutrient-dense foods provides minerals in your diet too, which is a large part of the battle in making sure you aren’t lacking in trace minerals – the leading cause of dehydration. Learn more about how how fluoridated water suppresses the immune system.
- Eat citrus fruits – lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits – at least one daily. If you prefer, you can squeeze the juice of 1/2 to a whole lemon or lime (or both) in cold water and add Stevia to taste. You can also add it to a cup of hot water in the morning and sip during morning activities and breakfast. Citrus fruits contain flavonoids and help your body perform natural detoxification.
- Get adequate rest. Retire by 10 p.m and rise between 6 and 7 a.m. daily to keep a regular schedule.
- Consume fermented cod liver oil. Vitamins A & D helps reduce the chance of developing many illnesses including colds, flus, and cancer. Fermented cod liver oil is simply the world’s most natural and potent source of these vital nutrients.
- Eat fermented foods – yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and lacto-fermented vegetables. Homemade varieties are superior because many store-bought brands are pasteurized and good bacterias are destroyed. The naturally occurring friendly bacteria in these foods gives your immune system a leg up during cold and flu season.
- If you are unable to obtain enough friendly bacteria in your diet, you can take a therapeutic grade probiotic supplement. Health store brands are often expensive but not very high in quality as they are not standardized nor usually as potent as their labels might claim. Best brands are Biotics Research (from a licensed, healthcare practitioner), Prescript-Assist, and Bio Kult.
- Eat plenty of healthy oil, fat, and cholesterol – grass-fed meats (dark and organ meats included), game meats, poultry, lamb, and pork; real butter and milk (raw is a plus!), coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil, lard and tallow from meat and poultry. Your body needs the important nutrients found in these foods – and healthy fats contain the most amount of nutrients per serving (even more than vegetables!).
- Use herbal and natural remedies when you get sick – oil of oreganol (oil of oregano) grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, garlic and eucalyptus ear oil, homeopathic remedies, thieve’s oil (used during the Black Plague), Chinese Herbal Medicine and acupuncture, and naturopathic care. If you are taking care of yourself with proper diet and lifestyle habits, these remedies will not be needed often. For a list of items in my home medicine cabinet, read this post.
- Get out in the sun as much as possible to obtain natural Vitamin D. Sunlight is most potent between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you should be getting about 20 minutes of exposure. Your diet should consist of the following to supplement for less available sunlight in the winter: fermented cod liver oil, raw milk from pasture-grazing cows, eggs from pasture-raised hens, seafood like wild-caught salmon, makerel, anchovies, herring, tuna, oysters, shrimp, sardines, and sausage and bacon from pasture-raised hogs. These foods contain Vitamins A, D, E, and K – all important for fighting off disease and illness.
- Get up and move. You don’t have to be an exercise fanatic and spend 7 days at the gym to be active and healthy. Even though it’s difficult to get motivated to go out in the cold weather, bundle up and find something you enjoy doing outside. Walking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and bike riding can all be done throughout the winter, depending on the weather. If you must be indoors, try a low-impact exercise video you do at home such as yoga, pilates, or warm-up ballet. Gyms are toxic places – from chlorine filled pools to the closed in environment that recirculates germ-filled air – that cause more health issues than they solve.
- Give up unhealthy habits such as cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or drug use (including prescription). Many health issues can be solved by eliminating these from your life, and prescription drugs are often just a band-aid for the real problem which is to improve dietary habits and lifestyle.
Want more information about nutrition and changing your diet to affect real change in your health?
Nutrients you are probably lacking in your diet
Feed your children real food…don’t they deserve it?
5 replies on “Whole Foods and Natural Solutions, Bolster Your Immune System This Winter”
Thanks for this great post! I am so happy to say “check, check, check”! I’m thankful to say that we’ve felt great and have stuck to all of those tips you mention above. Most recently, I have begun waking up early and walking, and I can’t tell you how good it feels! Rain or shine, I do it early before my kids get up (hubby’s at home still) and I get my walk in for the day and it’s made a world of difference for how I feel! I do need to work to improve the sleep, though. It’s almost 1 am!!!
Sorry for the second comment!!! I wanted to change my url:)
This is a good list. It’s so exasperating when you try talking to people about changing their diets to help avoid getting sick or to get well faster and they look at you like you’ve grown an extra head – just pop a magic pill instead. We’ll be getting our first quarter of grassfed beef within the week. 🙂 It was funny – even though the producer raises grassfed beef for the health benefits, they didn’t understand that I would actually want the tallow for cooking, too.
Carrie, I know what you are saying about the sleep – that’s probably one of my only serious vices – I can’t seem to go to bed before midnight most nights. I still feel great when I get up in the morning, so I suppose I keep justifying it to myself (shame on me!) – and I attribute that to my healthy diet. Indeed, when I went to see my neighbor who is a nutritional therapist yesterday, she said most of my organ systems are strong and in good working order. Muscle-tests revealed that my immune system was in great shape, and that I just have to work on getting rid of some parasites, increase my hydrochloric acid intake with meals, and keep working on elimination of a benign breast cyst I’ve had for a number of years. I had a really severe sinus infection this summer, and she tested my sinuses, which are clean. She said the sinus infection may have had something to do with my still needing a bit more hydrochloric acid with meals – as you know, digestion and healthy diet are the foundations of optimal health.
Laurie – yes, people give me “the look” often, unfortunately. I have very few people in my life who share my enthusiasm and knowledge about health through whole foods nutrition, so it’s challenging to keep my family on track. I have no problem with myself, but my son and husband stray regularly since they go places where industrial foods are served fairly often and people they come into contact with see no issue with it. I just have to keep on keeping on, and continue to educate and research. It’s what I do!
Great post! If only I could get my family to believe this, too. Since going gluten free a few years ago due to celiac disease, I’ve been doing these good health habits and it sure makes a difference. In spite of that, the rest of my family think I’m a nutcase, even though they all have health problems; no doubt, due to their terrible eating habits.