The golden-brown leaves falling from the trees, pumpkin-spice everything, and wrapping up in your favourite scarf are some of the best bits of autumn and winter, and can feel so very romantic. However, dry skin, congested chests, and constant sniffles can put a damper on enjoying the finer points of the season.

Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world for almost two years, winter also brings cold and flu season, which means we all need to be extra cautious while enjoying the gorgeous, if brisk, weather. We have a look at some superfoods to help boost your immunity, and some tips to boost your mood and keep healthy this winter.

Ginger

Ginger is almost a mandatory addition to your diet during the winter months, as it contains numerous medicinal properties that help boost and strengthen your immunity. It is also ideal for helping to reduce digestive-related problems, and also helps keep the body warm.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits strengthen your immunity and reduce the risk of getting sick. Try to include seasonal citrus fruits like kiwi, grapefruit, oranges and lemon in the diet. These are the best sources of Vitamin C, and they keep you healthy in winter.

Beetroot

Beetroot contains elements such as potassium, folate and beta carotene. These not only increase the immunity of the body but also help keep you warm.

Avocado

Avocado is nutrient-rich and can provide several benefits and increase body warmth and immunity, as well as helping to maintain skin and hair health. Avocados contain vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin C, omega-3, vitamin-K, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium.

Apple

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and while that is not strictly true, apples contain vitamin C, which is ideal for helping to improve your immunity and thus reduces your risk of getting ill this winter. Don’t forget to eat the peel too, as it contains more fibre and phytonutrients.

However, as well as carefully choosing what we add to our diet, we also need to look after ourselves in other ways too.

Sleep well

Sleep is vital to help maintain a healthy and resilient immune system. Failing to get enough sleep will suppress the immune system and reduce the capacity to fight off bacterial and viral infections.

The human body responds well to routine, as it helps to anchor the circadian rhythm. By establishing defined bedtime and getting up time toys can develop a routine that ensures you get a full eight hours of quality sleep.

Try to reduce your screen time by avoiding your devices and technology for 90 minutes before bedtime, and try drinking herbal tea that will help support restful sleep. Look for tea blends that contain valerian root, as it has been linked to relaxation and sleep.

Get active

There have been various studies that show exercise is vital in supporting gut microbiome diversity, brain health, mood and sleep, and many other benefits.

Exercise increases the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – an invaluable protein responsible for improving cognition, memory and brain cell health. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase our levels of BDNF and can be hugely effective in improving sleep quality and quantity.

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