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Building Immunity: How to Survive the Rest of Winter Without Getting Sick

Are you sick? Is someone in your family sick?

Seems like everyone is getting sick this time of year. As the snow begins to melt and it becomes damper outside, we feel the dampness inside too. Our noses are runny and we have excess phlegm.  So why is this? It’s been a long winter and our bodies are exhausted. The combination of having less fresh foods available and the added stress of the low temperature has taken its toll. So, is that it? Are we doomed to be sick until the flowers bloom again? Not necessarily.

Let’s not forget that people survived winters in Canada long before we had the comfort of heated homes and food shipped to us from all over the world.

Native tribes used to boil pine needles for Vitamin C throughout the winter.

What are you doing to get your vitamin C this winter?

Now we have a lot more options than pine needles. Eat broccoli, red bell peppers, lemons or leafy greens. Vitamin C helps in building immunity and boosting the immune system, helping the body cope with stress.

You also don’t have to let your immune system do all the work. Certain foods have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Have you ever taken oil of oregano when you have a cold? Or eaten garlic and ginger? If not, I highly recommend it.

However, what is an even better idea is to add these foods to your daily diet. That way you don’t have to eat them in such a concentrated form when you are already not feeling your best. Not many of us like the taste of raw garlic or pure oil of oregano by itself, but it’s delicious in a sauce or soup. Add lots of garlic, ginger, turmeric, oregano and thyme to your soups, sauces and stews. You can also boil ginger for tea.  This will keep immunity up all winter long.

In winter, we are also lacking another key nutrient, sunlight!

Winter time can be very dark and gloomy. Plus, less time is spent out in the direct sunlight. However, we need sunlight to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D is another important vitamin for immunity. So, bundle up and go for a walk, whenever the sun is out. Vitamin D should also be taken as a supplement throughout the winter.

Finally, another way to avoid getting sick this winter is to do what the bears do and hibernate. Resting all winter is probably unrealistic but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some extra down time whenever you can. Sleep and relaxation is extremely important for immune health.

So, get some extra sleep, take time for yourself and make sure you are taking nice deep belly breaths throughout the day. You also should avoid stimulants such as coffee and sugar,as they add to the stress on your body.

Remember our immune system is constantly fighting off infections. Sometimes it can do so without any symptoms, meaning without you feeling awful. So just because there is a bug going around doesn’t mean you are going to catch it.

Cold winter doesn’t mean you will get a cold! So, take the right steps in building immunity,  work with your immune system to fight back, and avoid being sick until Spring.

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