Here’s how to avoid getting sick this winter, according to a Naturopath

As the temperature drops further into the winter’s plunging depths and the air around us becomes peppered with coughs and sneezes, we’re reminded that peak flu season is officially upon us. To figure out how to stop a burgeoning cold in its tracks, we spoke to the head Naturopath at Huckleberry, Kim Wessels, and got the lowdown on how to stay clear of winter ails this season.

Why do we get sick in winter?
Lowered immunity occurs due to a number of factors including lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, pre-existing illness and excessive exercise. Being indoors, where there’s less access to fresh air, combined with winter’s heightened exposure to airborne viruses creates a recipe for illness.

How can we avoid getting sick in winter?
Good hygiene practices, including sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands, make a big difference.  Avoid friends and family when sick and give ‘virtual’ hugs and ‘air’ kisses.

What shall we do once we are sick?
So many people nowadays feel they don’t have the time to honour their healing process and rest when they are sick, especially if they have children or very demanding jobs. So, I can’t say enough…. rest, rest, REST! In this case, sharing isn’t caring and your friends and colleagues would truly appreciate you staying away if you’re sick. Be prepared and stock up on your vitamins, minerals and your favourite herbal remedies to combat that cold if it hits. 

What natural remedies are the best treatment?
Herbs like echinacea, olive, rhodiola, elderberry, and astragalus are great for treatment, whereas spices such as ginger, chilli and cayenne help warm the body. Turmeric is ideal thanks to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and a good probiotic strengthens the immune system. 

Should we still diet and exercise whilst we’re sick?
It’s important to support our body with nutrient-rich and sustaining foods that nourish the body rather than deplete our vitamins and minerals. Avoid drastic and restrictive diets, dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, and smoking.especially when sick. If you know your body is tired and unwell, don’t exercise and respects its need to rest, and sleep if necessary.


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