Winter’s just around the corner. Before you know it the holidays will be here and, let’s face it, no matter how much you love this time year it’s easy to find yourself feeling exhausted and with your tank on empty.
With the constant running around between family and work obligations, eating poorly, and being stuck indoors it’s really no wonder so many of us find ourselves getting sick.
In fact, I’ve already had the first few patients complaining of congestion and a sore throat come in to see me. That’s why there’s no better time to get serious about beefing up your immunities to arm yourself against colds and the flu all season long.
You can get started by focusing on five powerful immune-system-supporting nutrients…
1. vitamin A,
2. vitamin C,
4. vitamin D, and
Eating more Paleo diet friendly foods rich in these essential nutrients will help keep your immune system at its strongest so you can breeze through the winter without a sniffle.
Fight off colds and the flu with vitamin A
Take the first step towards avoiding the sniffles and sneezes of an upper respiratory tract infection by getting more vitamin A.
If you’ve been following my advice and are eating a Paleo diet you’re way ahead of the game. Because the meats that are already part of any healthy Paleo diet are naturally rich in vitamin A.
To add even more of this vital vitamin to your diet eat more beta-carotene rich fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A.
Five Paleo rich vitamin A foods that will keep your immune system strong are: Turkey and beef liver, cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots.
Strengthen your immune system with vitamin C and zinc
Both vitamin C and zinc are essential for a strong immune system. Your immune system requires these important nutrients to hone its ability to recognize and attack bacteria and viruses that invade your body.
Once again the Paleo diet gives you an upper hand here. The animal proteins you are already eating are rich in zinc. You can add more zinc to your diet by eating more oysters, beef, lamb, pork, and pumpkin seeds.
To raise your vitamin C levels eat more fruits and vegetables including vitamin-C rich yellow bell peppers, broccoli, kale, oranges, and kiwis.
Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system AND mood
Getting enough vitamin D during the winter months can be tough. And that’s a problem because D deficiency has been linked to a weakened immune system. In other words, your body will have a harder time fighting off those viruses you get exposed to all winter long.
Even worse, low levels of this important vitamin can contribute to seasonal depression, leaving you feeling down in the dumps with the winter blues.
To stay healthy and happy all winter long raise your D levels by adding more cod liver oil, cold-water fatty fish (such as trout, salmon, or mackerel), mushrooms (try Portobello and maitake), pork (yummy, more bacon!), and eggs to your Paleo diet.
Beef up your belly bugs with probiotics
Finally, adding a probiotic to your diet can help you maintain a healthy balance of illness-fighting bacteria in your intestinal tract. You can try a probiotic supplement as well as tweak your diet to include more probiotic friendly foods.
To naturally encourage the growth of more ‘good’ bacteria simply bump up the amount of some Paleo diet basics you’re probably already eating such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, tamari sauce, sauerkraut, natto miso, and green tea.
You can also discourage bad bacteria from growing by getting more short-chain saturated fats like butyric acid and lauric acid into your diet. Both of these are found in butter and coconut oil.
If you want to sail through winter sniffle free why not go ahead and make these simple changes to your already healthy Paleo diet? By getting more of these five nutrients you’ll be giving your immune system the fuel it needs to arm itself against colds and flu all season long.
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