We all know that feeling… you wake up on a cold Autumn morning, your head is throbbing, your throat feels a bit scratchy and your limbs feel heavy, and you know you’re coming down with something. For most of us, getting a cold or two during winter is par for the course. But if you’re unlucky enough to be struck down with a proper bout of flu, it could knock you down for several weeks or even longer.
Having a strong, resilient immune systems is one of the most important elements to prevent illness, and helping you bounce back quicker when you do get sick.
We asked one our favourite wellness warriors, Rebecca Gawthorne (AKA: @nourish_naturally) for some of her best winter wellness tips:
Tip 1 – Include Healthy Fats In Your Diet
Healthy fats are essential to keeping your immune system strong. Healthy fats help increase the activity of phagocytes; the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. A simple way to do this is include some chia seeds in your breakfast each morning. Chia seeds are rich in the healthy fat omega-3 ALAs, which will keep your immune system functions optimally & ensure body fat levels do not drop too low to keep your immune cells fighting strong.
Tip 2 – Don’t Cut Out Healthy Carbs
Consuming healthy carbohydrates, like the carbs found in Oats+Chia, will strengthen your immune system & help keep you well this winter. Carbohydrates provide fuel for your white blood cells, act as nutritional immune protectors & help diminish stress hormone responses which otherwise weaken your immune system. Oats+Chia is also packed with fibre which is aids healthy digestion and gut function which benefits your immune system.
Tip 3 – Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C & Iron
Include foods every day that are high in vitamins and minerals vital for healthy immune functioning. Vitamin C, iron, vitamin E, zinc & selenium are all essential to the function of your immune system. Enjoying the Lemon & Chia Overnight Oats or a Persimmon & Chia Winter Wellness Smoothie for breakfast will help you meet your Vitamin C & iron requirements to keep you well this winter.
Tip 4 – Adopt a Healthy Sleeping Routine
Adequate sleep is essential to keeping you healthy & well. Sleep deprivation can effect your white blood cells and weaken your immune system, so aim to get 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night to help reduce your risk of getting sick & keep your immune system strong this winter.
Tip 5 – Move Your Body Each Day & Smile
Engaging in regular exercise can help keep you well this winter by boosting your white blood cells and reducing your stress levels. Stress has a direct, negative effect on your immune system by creating chronic inflammation in your body due to the hormone cortisol, which weakens your immune system. Adopting healthy lifestyle practices like keeping physically active and personal strategies to reduce your stress levels will help you stay healthy this winter.
Oats+Chia are available in the health food aisle of Coles, health life and independent supermarkets across Australia. Keep your eyes out for our new bright orange packaging, inspired by the rich red dirt in Kimberley where we farm our chia seeds. You can also order Oats+Chia direct to your door through our webshop.
Who is Rebecca Hawthorne?
Rebecca, AKA @nourish_naturally, is an Accredited Practicing Dietician, Accredited Nutritionist, and a member of the Dieticians Association of Australia