Your diet should include whole foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds on top of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (which are in season). Adding some superfoods such as bee pollen or micro algae (spirulina or chlorella) is good as well.
Herbs and spices can also help you boost your immune system.
Echinacea in tea, tincture or capsule is known to strengthen the respiratory system.
Olive Leaf extract can be used to help fight colds and flu as it increases the numbers and activity of white blood cells, as well as increasing the production of interferon, a vital chemical for the immune system response.
Garlic protects against germs (bacterial, fungal, parasitic) and viruses. Other helpful spices are turmeric, onion, ginger or cayenne pepper.
Keeping a healthy gut is mandatory to keep a strong immune system.
Probiotics are good bacteria and can be found in whole and fermented foods (sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir or microalgae).
Stocking up on prebiotic foods are another way to strengthen your immune system. Unlike probiotics which add healthy flora to the gut, prebiotics don’t replace bacteria but help feed up the “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics are a source of food for probiotics to grow, multiply and survive in the gut. Prebiotic fibres can be found in Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, bananas, cabbage, beans, leaks, garlic, chicory and onions amongst other things.
Avoid processed foods and sweetened soft drinks as much as you can.
Processed foods, inflammatory omega-6 oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc), fried foods, high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugars or chemical additives force your body to do extra work to eliminate them and repair the internal inflammation that they cause in your body.
As written above, our bodies follow the same rhythm as Nature and winter is a time of hibernation. While we should get more sleep than in summer, most of us don’t. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system and increases risk of illness as most of the restoration and rejuvenation is done while you are sleeping. So make sure you get enough quality sleep. To ensure you sleep well, turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed as the artificial light from the electronic devices suppress melatonin production and melatonin is a hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
With those tips, you should be ready for a disease free winter and you will get plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of Nature and get ready for the end of the year celebrations without stress.