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?