Updated: Aug 28, 2019
If you, like myself, aren't lucky enough to live in a part of the world that stays full of warmth and sunshine the whole year round.. this post is for you! If you are soaking up those beautiful rays as we speak... first off, I'm jealous! Secondly...keep reading! This information is not only for those who want to stay healthy during the cold winter months, but also for anyone who wants their immune system to thrive through every season. These are my must-haves and go-to's to stay healthy and support the body's natural defenses.
Vitamin D intake is crucial to a healthy immune system. In the summer, we get plenty of Vitamin D from the sun. Yet, in the dark and dreary months of late fall and winter, our bodies are starving for Vitamin D. This, combined with high sugar intake (think holiday treats) and high stress (again...holidays) , is a major contributor to illness throughout these months. The recommended dosage of Vitamin D is grossly inadequate to what the body actually needs to thrive. Most people are highly deficient which leads to a plethora of health problems, not to mention seasonal depression. Vitamin D is good for the soul! Check this article out for the proper recommendations, get your levels tested, and find a good quality supplement to see you through until the sun shines once again.
Elderberry syrup is an absolute must-have for the winter as a daily supplement, and a great concoction to have on hand for any illnesses year round. This syrup is made with the dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant, and contains an abundance of immune boosting compounds scientifically proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms and shorten the duration of illness. Recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon daily for an immune boost and increase to 3 times daily when any illness strikes.
Making the syrup personally is much more pure and cost effective than buying pre-made syrup at the store. It is super easy to make and tastes delicious! The hardest part may be finding the elderberries. My advice is to start sourcing them well before cold and flu season begins. You can find them on Amazon, bulk bins at any natural store, or directly from the farm via websites like mountainroseherbs.com. It keeps about 2 months in the refrigerator or can be frozen.
*2/3 cup dried elderberries
*4 cups distilled water
*2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon cloves
*1 cup raw honey (I use Eco Bee Farms)
1. Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, boil uncovered for five minutes to release steam. (This is an important step to release possible toxins from the berries).
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered 55 minutes.
3. Allow to cool slightly and mash elderberries inside pan.
4. Pour through a strainer into a large bowl to remove elderberries. Press any juice out of berries into the liquid.
5. Add honey to bowl.
6. Store in mason jars.
Next on the list for keeping healthy is....
Maintaining healthy levels of this vitamin will protect against disease and keep the immune systems flourishing. Our bodies do not make or store Vitamin C so we must be sure to consume this daily. The best source of Vitamin C for daily maintenance is through food. Here are the top 15 foods highest in Vitamin C :
Black Currant - 1 cup : 338% DV
Red Pepper - 1 cup : 317% DV
Kiwi - 1 cup : 273% DV
Guava - 1 fruit : 209% DV
Green bell pepper - 1 cup : 200% DV
Orange - 1 large : 163% DV
Strawberries -1 cup : 149% DV
Papaya - 1 cup : 144% DV
Broccoli - 1 cup (raw) : 135% DV
Kale - 1 cup (raw) :134% DV
Parsley - 1 cup : 133% DV
Pineapple -1 cup : 131% DV
Brussel Sprouts - 1/2 cup (cooked) : 81% DV
Cauliflower - 1 cup (raw) : 76% DV
Mango - 1 cup : 76% DV
High quality Vitamin C supplements can also be beneficial to treating illness. There are two forms: ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate. Since every individual is unique on how their body will respond to supplements, some will react better to ascorbic acid, some to sodium ascorbate. Find which one works best for you by experimenting with both types. When treating illness, take the recommended dosage hourly to bowel tolerance to flood the immune system with vitamin c. Sugar must be avoided completely when treating illness this way, as it decreases the effectiveness of Vitamin C.
Last but not least, I recommend stocking your cabinets with essential oils to stay healthy and be prepared for whatever the winter months will bring your way. Essential oils are a gift from God, given to us by Him through plants and herbs which help to support our health and wellness. They not only smell amazing, but they are powerful and have a variety of health benefits.
Some of our favorites in the winter months are oregano oil, thieves oil, and tea tree oil. These oils support the immune system and help ward off and fight illnesses. We make a combo of these diluted with coconut oil for quick and easy application, or diffuse them into the air. Our favorites for treating cold symptoms are a blend of spruce, cypress, and eucalyptus oils. For any tummy bugs we love blends containing ginger, peppermint, and lemongrass oils. These can also be applied (diluted properly) directly to the skin, as long as the oils are pure and unadulterated. For more information on proper selection, dilution, safety, and application of essential oils, feel free to contact me directly. I would be happy to help.
Stay healthy my friends!!
I am not a doctor. All information and resources found on this blog are based on my research, experience, and what I have seen work for my family and for others. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. I encourage you to consult a holistic doctor or nutritionist before making health changes, especially any changes relating to a specific health condition. Do not rely solely on this information to make medical diagnoses or determine treatment. Use this information as a general guideline to healthier living and a starting point for your own research.