7 Top Tips to Build Immunity & Stay Well this Winter

7 Top Tips to Build Immunity & Stay Well this Winter

July 05, 2020

Winter has officially arrived so there’s no better time to ensure your immune system is as strong as it can be to keep colds and flus at bay.

To help you survive the cooler temperatures this winter, we have put together 7 top tips to build immunity and stay glowing with good health this winter.

But first….. what is immunity?

Immunity is the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitised white blood cells.

Protecting yourself through winter is a daily commitment, a lifestyle plan of action that doesn't take a big investment in much other than time. Choosing self-care to ward off those winter blues, coughs and colds and avoid energy-draining, stuck-inside ruts. 

Stay ahead of the negative aspects of winter by checking in with our 7 top tips for building winter immunity and keeping your organism healthy so you can live the positives.

1. Rug up and stay warm

Hot or cold, our bodies prefer to have a core body temperature remaining stable at 37 degrees C (98.6F) and within 0.6 C (1F) either way. Incredibly, more than 1 degree C (33F) of variation from our core body temp, for any length of time, can affect how well or unwell we are.

At our ideal temperature, our bodily systems function well and our immune system is efficient in responding to daily fluctuations and warding off viruses and germs.

Our kidneys (lower back area), chest (lungs) and thyroid (throat) are areas we can keep warm and protected to help avoid winter chills. 

So for winter, be prepared and carry a scarf for those sudden changes in temperature, windy days, or commuting home in the evening. Our heads lose the most amount of heat than anywhere else on the body so a winter beanie for keeping your neck (glands and thyroid), ears and back of your head warm and cosy can help to keep your whole body warm and protected from the chill factor.  

The lower back and kidney area is another chill factor zone to be aware of so a singlet, body glove, camisole or a jacket that covers this area can be the magic that protects you from sudden environmental temperature fluctuations. Not always so sexy when out at night but neither is a runny nose ☺

Herbal teas are a pleasant way to keep warm and with ingredients such as ginger, lemongrass, and rosehips in Mayella Ginger Kisses, they will warm your inner core and ward off chills and infections.

Side note: a separate consideration is Cryotherapy, a specialised therapy using extreme cold. It can have many health benefits for our body, as will ice baths, hot yoga, infra-red, steam rooms and sauna — all building a strong immune system and longevity with purposeful cold and heat sessions (as opposed to systemic influences that arise with day to day activities, such as a chilling wind).

tea in cup next to a kettle and surrounded by decorative loose tea leaves

2. Keep hydrated

Staying hydrated is important all-year-round for a happy, healthy body. It may not be so easy drinking the 2-3 litres of H2O in winter but your body craves fluids when the air is dry, and we're usually in heated environments throughout this season.

I highly recommend infused waters and non-caffeinated herbal teas as they keep you hydrated, have antioxidants and phytonutrients to assist with maintaining your immunity plus they’ll keep your tastebuds entertained.

If you choose to drink fluids that contain caffeine, sugar, flavours, preservatives and other additives, they all involve some level of give and take by the body. Which means you may be sacrificing the value of the hydration as your body is often using as much water in processing these drinks as you think you are drinking. 

Herbal tea such as Mayella Ginger Kisses, Beauty & Brains, or Skin Tonic is beautiful to drink warm in the morning and even take the brew with you in a thermos to keep warm. You can also let it cool and drink as a cold tea throughout the day.

You may prefer an infused water where you slice one or more different fruits such as lemons, limes, kiwifruit, strawberries, oranges, or herbs such as mint or parsley and layer into a wide-necked drinking bottle or jug.


3. Ensure you're catching some zzz's and enjoying restorative sleep

Winter is a time our bodies naturally want to hibernate. Not literally quite like our bear friends, but it makes sense that as the nights are longer, we consider our sleeping patterns.

Going to bed earlier and, if you’re not yet ready to sleep, reading a book, writing in your journal whilst sipping on a herbal tisane or doing some breathing exercises as part of a meditation is so very restorative and helps the mind to reconnect to important downtime.

Rest, recycle and repair happens in downtime and important physiological processes are busily happening while we are off in LaLa Land.

Finishing the day with a herbal tisane such as Mayella Rest Easy is like enjoying a sleep tonic, formulated to destress, unravel your mind from your day and calm your being. It helps your mind to hand over into a deep sleep pattern, allowing you to awake feeling refreshed and recharged.

If you’re feeling tired at 8.00 pm, go to bed! Pushing past the evening tired zone often leaves you on a “second wind” that when you finally go to bed at 10.00 pm or 11.00 pm, you’ve lost the precious deep restoring sleep time that your body was telling you it needs.

There is a connection between our sleep/wake cycles and our immune system. Studies have shown that broken sleep, not enough sleep, and poor sleep cycles can lead to conditions such as inflammation, which underlies many conditions from poor skin health to arthritis, and even an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, certain cancers and diabetes. Quality and consistent hours of sleep are vital to building immunity.

hands in heart shape framing the sunny sky

4. Head out and enjoy the sunshine

Sunshine, it makes us happy and keeps us healthy. As with all things in life, moderation and timing is everything and sunlight is no exception to this rule.

We need exposure to sunlight to trigger vital functional processes such as the production of Vitamin D — a hormone that helps with bone growth and density. Vitamin D is useful in avoiding debilitating conditions such as osteoporosis by balancing calcium and phosphorus levels and increasing our ability to absorb magnesium.

Did you know current research indicates that most people on our planet are magnesium deficient? Mayella Nutritional Blends are naturally high in magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. What's even better is that their nutritional profile across the minerals, vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients are synergistically balanced which means that everything synchronises during digestion for optimal performance and harmony.

So your body gets everything it needs, at the right time, to do what it most wants to do = be healthy and function to its best potential!

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are affected negatively by a lack of sunlight. And while we now know that sunbathing for hours, especially in the midday sun, is a no-no, as little as 15 quality minutes a day can give us the immune-boosting benefits we need for good health. As well as increasing our Serotonin levels, a hormone associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused, yes please!

Sunlight through windows and natural lighting count as healthy exposure to our daily sunshine requirements, boosting our physical health and immunity health as well as our mental health by helping us to avoid S.A.D or seasonal affective disorder. Find that spot in the office where the sunlight comes in or take a quick walk in the park at lunchtime to soak up some Vitamin D. Failing that, your local gym might have an infrared sauna you can warm your body and soul with!

5. Eat well and nourish your body

Such a delightful experience and essential to life.

According to George Bernard Shaw... There is no more sincere love than the love of food.

Eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods, fruit and vegetables is absolutely key to building and maintaining a healthy immune system. Seasonal changes mean changes in diet to support your body and provide the kind of nutrients it's looking for to protect and nurture itself.

During winter months, include herbs and spices such as ginger, cumin, turmeric in your cooking to warm your body and blood against the cold, to aid digestion, and add antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic and turmeric are fabulous natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory foods to make winter meals tasty and aromatic as well as medicinal.

By eating what is seasonal and locally produced, perhaps from the local farmers markets, you are in tune with your environment and you’ll enjoy fresher produce that holds good nutrient density and you’ll be supporting a grower/small business person.

Supplementing with nutrient-rich, alkalising plant and algae-based foods such as Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Spirulina, is an easy way to access quality easily absorbed minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients to maintain immunity in busy lives.

For hungry kids in the afternoon, add a teaspoon of Mayella Green Harmony or Nourish to the blender along with a banana, teaspoon of honey, pinch of cinnamon and your milk of choice. Simply blend and drink as an after-school or gym smoothie! 

For the adults, you can definitely enjoy that delicious smoothie as well, or, if you're in a hurry, take Mayella Green Harmony Capsules which were made to make it easy to consume lots of nutrients, no matter how busy your day is.  

glass of green smoothie with avocado in the background

Homemade bliss balls are so much fun to make and are a tasty way to eat your greens and berries if you're not in the mood for a smoothie. Adding a tablespoon of Mayella Green Superfoods to the recipe adds a concentrated dose of sunshine, pumping up the nutritional value. Likewise adding Mayella Acai Berry Blend to the mix or rolling the bliss ball in our Berry Blend creates a yummy red velvet bliss ball full of antioxidants. 

For a sensational morning tea or healthy dessert add 1 teaspoon of Mayella Acai Berry Beautiful to a cup of coconut yoghurt, stir in and devour!

For a quick berry milkshake add 1 teaspoon of Mayella Acai Berry Beautiful in a glass of almond milk, stir and enjoy in an instant.

To boost your morning oats sprinkle Mayella Acai Berry Beautiful over the top. It's an absolute favourite of everyone and easy and delicious way to boost your winter antioxidant value.

An absolute winter menu favourite is putting on the slow cooker in the morning loaded with blood-building and nourishing root crops such as pumpkin, beetroot, sweet potato and lentils, barley, split peas, herbs and spices such as bay leaves, garlic, turmeric, mustard seeds, black pepper. 

Add organic chicken pieces on the bone, organic Osso Bucco or shanks if you’re a meat-eater. Make coming home from work and school and the evening meal so easy and pleasurable with a home filled with the smell of a hearty delicious immune-building meal waiting for you. Extra bonus — there are hardly any dishes to wash up!

Slow cooker filled with lentils and vegetables showing a hand pouring in coconut milk

6. Get your body moving

Exercise is a positive way to get more energy, self-confidence, self-connection and build your immunity over winter.

Shorter days in winter can be a deterrent but if you don’t want to run or walk in the dark, then search online for your local studios. Knowing the optimal times for gyms or classes makes it easy to stop making excuses about getting some daily movement.

It’s as good as sex, physiologically speaking. Generating neurotransmitters that create a rush and gentle buzz or a happy high you get when you’ve been moving it.

Moving your body is fundamental to a healthy immune system, triggering a number of physiological processes that are powerful in managing our internal balance, with certain systems like the lymphatic system depending on it for optimal functionality.

The lymphatic system is a key part of defending our immunity, eliminating toxins and waste, transporting white blood cells, infection-fighting cells and system regulating chemistry. Movement of the lymphatic fluids occurs mainly by muscular contraction and gravity. Movement also exercises every part of your body — your heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, nervous and skeletal systems (keeping your beautiful bones strong and healthy), your kidneys, liver.

It’s truly a team effort to move your body. Your body shows its appreciation for the regular movement by being toned, healthy, energetic and having a strong immune system able to bounce off potential germs and sickness.

woman on the beach doing warrior pose yoga

Make sure you maximise the benefits of exercising by rehydrating with fluids and replenishing essential micronutrients. 1 teaspoon of Mayella Nourish, Alkalise Green & Go or Green Harmony in 500ml of water or coconut water makes a perfect natural electrolyte drink to rehydrate cells, flush toxins and replenish vital nutrients your body finds easy to digest and absorb. One such nutrient, chlorophyll, is a brilliant detoxifier and blood cell builder, minimising downtime in recovery and fatigue.

Or you may prefer the ease of Mayella Green Harmony Capsules or Wheatgrass Capsules with water, as the magic formula to flood your body with an electrolyte drink filled with acid flushing, blood building, clean, lean plant-based cell food, naturally high in alkalising minerals to detox the body of burnt energy and toxins created after a good work out.

7. Laugh lots

Laughter truly is medicine for the soul, mind and body.

Laughter relaxes the jaw and those anger, tension muscles that tighten up and cause discomfort, even teeth grinding at night. It exercises facial muscles promoting circulation, facial muscle tone and enhancing upward smile curves, not downward frown lines.

Laughter brings a sparkle to the eyes and aura, you feel better so you are better! His Holiness the Dalai Lama advises laughter therapy is an ingredient for longevity. We’re smiling about that idea.

young woman open-mouth laughing in front of a colourful background

We have created a selection of immune building support products that will assist you with keeping you at your best this winter:

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