It is a challenging time of year for our health! We are all short of time, sleep and we eat and drink more than usual. What can we do to minimize the damage? Here are a few tips I have found to be useful over the years.
~ Stick to your three meals a day and especially eat a breakfast low in added sugar and high in fiber, you will be less hungry throughout the day and feel on top of your game.
~ Aim for some exercise every day even if it is just a 10-20 minute walk. Not only does this make you feel refreshed but it helps with sleep and more is better, try for 30-45 minutes of exercise at least twice a week during the holidays.
~ Prioritize sleep! It is so easy to slip into staying up a half hour to an hour later every night when we are busy but the cumulative effect of this is to wear down your reserves and make it easier for an opportune virus to take hold. Alcohol interferes with sleep so best to have those cocktails early and drink sparkling water or water after 9 pm.
~ Watch your sugar! Fine to try those holiday goodies but keep in mind that sugar lowers your immune response for up to 6 hours after you eat 100 grams or the equivalent of two sodas. As many of you know, Linus Pauling did research in the 1970s to find out how the body uses Vitamin C. They discovered that white blood cells need Vitamin C to destroy bacteria and viruses. Sugar and Vitamin C are similar in their chemical structure. When you eat sugar, it directly competes with Vitamin C for space in your immune cells. The more sugar in your system, the less Vitamin C can get into your white blood cells.
~ Finally, a good whole food supplement can really help give you that extra boost you need to ensure a virus-free month of celebrating!