Tips for Staying Healthy During Winter – By Melissa Wood, ND

Jan 2014 - headshot - WoodHere are some great tips to strengthen your body’s immune system during the winter season.

Drink the optimal amount of water. With the winter season here, it’s more important than ever to consume the right amount of waterfor your health.

Keep stress to a minimum. Studies have linked high stress levels to making a person more susceptible to catching colds and flu. Minimize your stress by working reasonable hours at your job. Aim for at least one night per week to spend with friends and family.

Eat a healthy diet. Maintaining a good healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal amounts of organic meats is another way to keep your body clean and in good working order. Try eating an extra piece of fruit or veggie every day too!

Do your homework to find the best supplement for your health. Even if you eat “perfectly” all the time with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, you still need to boost your nutrition with a supplement. What supplements you need depends significantly on your lifestyle. Some supplements I recommend taking during the winter season include:

Young Living Thieves & Purification: These two powerful therapeutic essential oils are a must-have to protect yourself against bacteria. Thieves has been university-tested and found to be highly effective against airborne bacteria. Thieves and Purification Essential Oil are very powerful when mixed together.

After filling an empty spray bottle with water, add 10 drops of each of these oils. Finally, shake the bottle vigorously and spray it around your house! This will kill airborne bacteria and other pollutants to keep your air fresh and pure and your lungs free from toxins.

Young Living NingXia Red: NingXia Red provides the best protection against the dangerous superoxide free radical as tested by Brunswick Laboratories’ S-ORAC test. It contains the power of the whole Ningxia wolfberry, formulated to maintain and support normal immune function along with five of the richest sources of free-radical-fighting antioxidants (wolfberry puree, blueberry, pomegranate, apricot and raspberry juices), including lemon and orange, essential oils that contain the phytochemical d-limonene to promote normal cell life cycles. Typically, I recommend about 1-2 ounces per day. During cold and flu season, however, I increase my intake at times to 3 ounces.

Exercise regularly. It is important to exercise regularly, even if only for 15 minutes a day! Get out and take a short walk and enjoy the cooler weather.

Get the right amount of sleep every night. The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body is extremely vulnerable to illness. Sleep is very much like fuel that recharges your batteries! You’ve got to do it to keep the machine running.

Wash your hands regularly. Keep the bacteria and viruses off your hands and out of your mouth and eyes. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close-by for those instances where you can’t get to soap and water.

Don’t smoke. Most of you already know this, but it bears repeating because smoking significantly weakens your immune system.

Eliminate all forms of sugar. This includes not only the obvious kinds (cake, cookies and sweets, in general), but bread, pasta, rice, yogurt and commercial, store-bought fruit juices. Sugar will compromise your immune system.
Despite your best efforts, you still can feel like you’re “coming down with something.” Some things you can do to help your body recover more quickly:

  • Eliminate all dairy products.
  • Eliminate all alcohol.
  • Eliminate all grains (bread, rice, pasta, etc.).
  • Boost your Vitamin C (with bioflavanoids) intake when you initially feel something coming on.
  • Boost your intake of Zinc.
  • Increase water consumption (even more than normal!)
  • Eat less food as this will give your body a much needed rest from digestion and give it a chance to concentrate on fighting off potential invaders.
  • Add herbs like Echinacea, Goldenseal and Grapefruit Seed Extract to your supplemental regime.
  • Get more rest than normal. If you normally get 6 hours of sleep a night, try increasing it to 7 or 8.

These are just some of the simple things you can do to strengthen your body’s immune system, so that you can stay healthy and well during the winter season!


Melissa Wood is a Natural Health and Wellness Practitioner located just outside of San Antonio, Texas in the Hill Country community of Pipe Creek. As a Naturopathic Doctor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Aromatherapy Consultant and Health & Wellness Coach, Melissa recommends natural therapies with nutrition, herbs, plants, flowers to educate others on using natural therapies to stay well on her site, Stay Healthy and Well. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. For the full text of this article, visit here.

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