As the seasons change it’s common for colds and flu to do the rounds. In this week's blog, we’ve compiled a list of tools you can use to stay well and build up your immune system coming into winter.
The first thing to ensure is you are eating a nutrient-dense diet that gives you stable blood sugar levels and promotes vitality and health. This is key to obtaining - and absorbing - as many essential nutrients as possible to support your body through winter.
"At BePure our philosophy focuses on eating nutrient dense whole foods that support your health while reducing inflammation and illness."
At BePure our philosophy focuses on eating nutrient dense whole foods that support your health while reducing inflammation and illness. This means eating an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat, soaked gluten free whole grains and legumes while avoiding gluten, refined grains, refined sugars and highly processed vegetable oils.
This way of eating is the premises of the 6-week BePure Programme. This is the result of over 10 years of working with our BePure clients. I developed this programme with the BePure team to give you the tools and flexibility needed to implement a healthy, sustainable way of eating into your lifestyle so that you can make progress towards your health goals.
In addition to eating right for your body, there are several specific things you can do to give your body some extra love when you, or your family, are feeling run down.
According to the Sleep Foundation a recent study found a direct link between lack of quality sleep and compromised immunity. For instance, if you aren’t sleeping well, you’re more likely to get sick.
"Our body has to use vital nutrients to repair ourselves from the lack of sleep, instead of fighting foreign bugs."
The study looked at the white blood cell count (a marker of infection) in participants following 29 hours of wakefulness. It found that severe sleep loss jolts the immune system into action, reflecting the same type of immediate response shown during exposure to stress.
This means our body has to use vital nutrients to repair ourselves from the lack of sleep, instead of fighting foreign bugs. Check out our blog about the importance of sleeping with the seasons.
Our body is made up of 60% water, so making sure that you are getting optimal amounts of water is essential for feeling good with optimal health and energy.
Water transports nutrients throughout the body, aids in digestion, regulates temperature, facilitates all pathways of detoxification, protects our joints, promotes healthy bowel movements, improves mental concentration and relieves fatigue.
All important for keeping your body flushed of toxins and healthy during the winter months.
How much water should you be drinking? This should be calculated according to your weight. To work this out the formula is:
0.033 litres per kg of body weight, which roughly equates to the following amounts:
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient. Vitamin C - also known as ascorbic acid - is important for fighting infections. It works as an antioxidant to protect our bodies from damage, is involved in the growth of our bones, tendons, ligaments and skin and helps us absorb other essential nutrients, such as iron, better.
"Fresh fruits and vegetables are our best sources of vitamin C."
Fresh fruits and vegetables are our best sources of vitamin C, which help to strengthen our immune system and keep our body healthy. Great food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi fruit, capsicum, and dark leafy green vegetables.
I always try to support my health with nutrient-dense foods that provide me with energy. But when I feel like I’m a little bit run down or my immune system is compromised, I increase my vitamin C intake to get me through.
I use our BePure Super Boost C which basically giving your body as much vitamin C as it needs on that given day. I take Vitamin C throughout the day, half a teaspoon at a time, every four hours, until I have a loose bowel motion and then I stop. I will write more about finding bowel tolerance and how to do it in '4 ways to beat winter colds naturally.'
"Vitamin C boosts the manufacture of antibody molecules required to assist the body in the defence of bacteria and viruses."
According to Dr. Linus Pauling, the only person to win two stand alone noble prizes and studied Vitamin C for over 20 years, Vitamin C is the most important nutrient to supplement to support the work of the body’s immune system. It has been found that Vitamin C boosts the manufacture of antibody molecules required to assist the body in the defence of bacteria and viruses.
For those of us with adrenal fatigue, increased stress also results in greater need for Vitamin C within in the body. If you're concerned that adrenal fatigue may be a concern for you, take the BePure Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire.
Stress initiates coping responses in us. In ancestral times we would simply sleep more. Now, we reach for stimulants to prop up our cortisol or sugar levels - caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar or grains. Consuming these things occasionally is not a problem. But all these things place a load on our liver and affect our ability to store and absorb nutrients from our food which then impacts our immunity.
The harder you push your body and mind, the more stress you are under, the more vitamins and minerals your body uses. In times of stress, your body uses more B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc - just to name a few.
When it comes to diet and lifestyle there are a few key things to consider to reduce your stress levels and increase your immunity;
Zinc acts as an antioxidant, controlling the activity of over 300 enzymes within your body. It also controls your body's ability to uptake other minerals. When you’re battling a cold or the flu, you need to be absorbing all the nutrients you can get! Making sure you have adequate levels of zinc is a priority for everyone.
"Zinc acts as an antioxidant, controlling the activity of over 300 enzymes within your body."
Testing for zinc deficiency can be simple and inexpensive. You need sufficient levels of zinc within your body to be able to taste zinc when ingested orally. Simply drink a small amount of zinc. It should taste immediately bitter. If you tolerate it without complaint, you need more zinc!
You can get zinc taste tests and our high strength, high bioavailable form of BePure Zinc Restore on the BePure website. Zinc is one of the most simple things you can do to boost your health and immunity.
Bone broth - or technically, stock - is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. It provides you with gelatin, glycine and protein to support your gut and promote energy. The minerals in it support your body if you have any aches or pains.
"Bone broth is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices."
Homemade, nutrient-dense bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. It is also wonderfully warming for the cooler months and adds a huge depth of flavour to soups, casseroles and curries. If you'd like to make this yourself, try our BePure Bone Broth recipe.
If you don’t have time or don’t want to make your own broth there are some great brands on the market. The Essential Broth Co. and Best Bones Broth can be purchased at health food stores throughout the country.
Utilising these tools will help you through these cooler months. If you are battling chronic conditions, are constantly low in energy or have any other questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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