by Lucienne Steele – Naturopath

Winter – it’s tough at times isn’t it? It’s cold, wet and we tend to be more prone to illness during this time. But fear not, there is a lot we can do preventatively to support the body, and also steps we can take if we do fall ill, to recover with more ease.

The following is a list of preventative steps we can take to ensure we keep those winter bugs at bay:

  • Drink more water – aim for 3 or more litres
  • Eat more plants in your diet – aim for a rainbow of 5 veg, 2 fruit and 30 g fibre a day –  looking also at eating more than 30 different varieties of plants per week
  • Be sure to get high quality protein in every meal and snack. The general recommendation is around 1-1.5 g protein per kilo of bodyweight, depending on exercise levels. For example, the average-sized woman doing moderate exercise would aim for ~100g.
  • Move your body for 30 mins a day
  • Get outside for at 30 mins a day
  • Stress depresses your immune system, so be sure to also relax, have fun and play daily. Boosting your mental health also boosts physical health – try to engage in a pleasurable activity for 10-20 mins a day
  • Rest – aim for 8 hrs of quality sleep (if less/broken, add nap/NSDR)

If we do happen to get ill, we can support our body with a range of herbs. Work with your body, not against it – hydrate, stay warm and rest. We can also add in some of the following for support – echinacea, ginger, garlic, lemon, chilli, elderberry, andrographis and eucalyptus.

And lastly, when you’re starting to feel better, consider the following to ensure a smooth transition back into society:

  • Go slow – don’t rush back to busy life
  • Try some gentle movement – stretching, walking, swimming, Pilates or Yoga
  • Breathwork to reset the nervous system and support the vagus nerve
  • Herbs such as astragalus, schisandra, codonopsis, Siberian ginseng, or mushrooms