Ever wonder why you tend to get sick this time of year? It's the worst when all you want to do is spend time with your family, but you're in bed feeling awful. There's no ONE reason, but more the compounding effect of many things.
1. Reduced exposure to Vitamin D. The days are shorter and without the sun, we don't get our daily dose of Vitamin D. This important vitamin assists in the production of immune peptides.
2. Dry air. Physical barriers like skin and mucus are our first defense against pathogens. Dry, cracked skin gives the bad guys a way in.
3. Stress. There's a lot going on this time of year. Whether it's completing a big work project by a looming deadline, worries over finances, or conflict with family, it all compromises our health. Chronic stress decreases our Natural Killer cells and their ability to kill the bad guys. It also decreases the beneficial gut bacteria and reduces stomach acid, which also kills bad guys.
4. Not enough sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation decreases white blood cells and lymphocyte count.
My Top recommendations to stay healthy this Winter:
- Eat Sulfur-containing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels for liver support (help with the detox pathways)
- Make sure you're getting adequate protein to repair damaged cells
- Supplement with zinc to support new immune cells
- Get your Vitamin C! It helps lymph system clear debris (herbs are a great source especially rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. Diffuse oregano essential oil at first signs of sickness!)
- Magnesium supports over 300 enzymatic reactions and most people are low in it
- Don't eat sugar. It compromises your immune system.
- Take probiotics. 80% of your immune system is in your gut. We need it to be healthy.
- See your chiropractor. Getting adjusted boosts your immune system
- Take saunas- sweat out toxins
- Dry brush- helps get the lymph moving
- And finally, my favorite: SAY NO. Put your health first and don't over extend yourself this holiday season.