Getting the balance right through the winter months can be tricky, it’s so much easier in the summer with the lighter nights and warmer weather. But then the winter comes, the cold kicks in, the clock changes and all we want to do is shut down, curl up in front of the fire and TV.
When we shut down on any of these sections – we start to shut down mentally and when we shut mentally, we start to shut the body down, the body slows down to cope because the body is in fight or flight – the endocrine system (our hormones), our immune system and our digestive systems all work at a slower pace. This is why we are becoming ill.
I’m not saying you have to do all of this at once or do all of these things every day, just remember to check in to the Balance Wheel and see what may be missing in your life. Each day and each week will be different.
The other good thing to do is boost our Vitamins. Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, Kiwi, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it.
Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. Vit B6 is found in Poultry – chicken and turkey, Fish – salmon and tuna, green vegetables, whole grain, oatmeal and brown rice, Sunflower seeds and chickpeas (chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus).
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Vit E is found in Nuts especially Almonds, Seeds, Broccoli, spinach and Avocados.
Zinc helps to boost your immune system, Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended. Food that is high in Zinc is Shellfish – crab, clams, Lobster, mussels but it also is in Cheese, Meat and Bread.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Good sources of vitamin D – From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors and now days we all wear sun cream, so most of us are not getting enough natural Vit D and between October and early March we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
If we are low in Vitamin D we are prone to getting sick or infected often, we can suffer with Fatigue and tiredness, Bone and back pain, Muscle Pain, Impaired wound healing and Depression.
Vitamin B12 is involved in making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy and it releases energy from food. People that are low in Vit B12 can suffer with low moods, Vegetarians and Vegan are often low in B12 because it is found in meat, Salmon and Cod, Cheese and eggs.
Mindset plays a big part in how we eat, exercise and getting the balance right, if we have a fight in our head about it, we have no way of sticking to a healthy diet or getting back on track when we’ve had a bad week. If we see it as a means to an end. e.g. ‘if I’m good for a while I lose weight’, you see it as a short-term thing and you will go back to eating the same way after. The same with exercise. If we feel we didn’t have a good week eating or exercising its easy to just not do it again. But if we understand WHY we should do it and how it helps us, it’s easier to stick to it and get back on track. If we also have our own WHY! – why we want to be healthy and fit, why we want to lose weight etc. We have something to aim for.
I hope you have picked up some tips for you and your family and you can see where things may need some little changes or improvements in your life – when we start to help ourselves become healthier; we then can help others.
By Hayley Bennett
Hayley Bennett Wellbeing. Reflexologist – Mindset and Wellbeing Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org 07551 006898