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‘Tis the Season – Preparing Your Immune System for Winter

As cooler weather approaches, more time is spent indoors in closer proximity to coughs and sniffling noses. Upcoming holidays bring extra handshakes and hugs. Heaters can dry out our sinuses as well as lead to an environment conducive to spreading germs.

Improve your chances of staying well with these tips:

GOOD FOODS

Leafy Greens

1) Incorporate spinach or kale in smoothies (a high quality “green powder” can be substituted)
2) Use fresh greens in salads and on sandwiches (large leaves make great wraps)
3) Add to soups or stews

Garlic

1) Try it roasted, toasted, or raw
2) Available in supplement form (excellent for treating nausea)
3) Make a homemade salsa with fresh garlic

Healthy Fats

1) Cook with coconut oil (appropriate for high heat)
2) Add coconut or flaxseed oil to your protein smoothie
3) Top salads with walnut or olive oil
4) Use avocados in smoothies or salads
(Avocados also provide a creamy base for chocolate avocado pudding.)

SUPPLEMENTS

1) Probiotics are the foundation for a healthy gut and immune system. Friendly bacteria from fermented foods (sauerkraut / kimchi) or a good probiotic supplement is essential.

2) A whole-food multivitamin or a superfood supplement can help “fill-in” nutritionally deficient areas.

3) Olive leaf extract or oil of oregano are antiviral and antifungal. They can be used preventatively or at the onset of sniffles or a cough.

SLEEP

While you are sleeping, your body is busy healing itself. If you normally get by on five hours of sleep, try getting seven to eight hours. Your body will thank you.

“When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24 / KJV)

HYDRATION

Drinking plenty of water, especially in heated homes and offices, is imperative.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14 / KJV)

HANDWASHING

This one can’t be over-emphasized. Antibacterial soap is not always needed, but frequent handwashing will do wonders for decreasing the spread of germs not only to others but to yourself (rubbing your eyes or nose).

TRY TO AVOID

1) Sugar – Sugar feeds fungus and bad bacteria. It increases inflammation. It kills good bacteria. This scenario leaves our immune system with little support against the wiles of winter.

2) Processed Foods – Contain artificial colors and flavors, sugar, and other ingredients that fail to support our immune system.

3) Stress – Although stress can’t be avoided, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 / ESV)

**Always check with your healthcare provider before choosing supplements. Some may interfere or interact adversely with medications, or they may not be appropriate with certain medical conditions.

What healthy routines do you have in place to prevent sickness this winter?

About Denise Ferrell

Denise Ferrell
Denise is a Registered Nurse, married, and has lived in Alabama all of her life. She has been a Christian for more than 40 years and has studied Prophecy for over 25 years. She writes devotionals for Faithwriters (www.faithwriters.com). She also writes for TGGmag ('Tween Girls and God online magazine for girls age 9-12). She desires to share Christ with others through her writing and is looking forward to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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