winter Archives - Medshield Movement

5 Natural Immune Boosters To Fight Winter Germs

Feeling under the weather? Wanting to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep yourself – and the fam – healthy this winter? Try these 5 natural ways to keep your immune system boosted!

  1. Add Flu-Fighting Foods To Your Meals
    Get to know which ingredients are powerhouses and make sure you include them as snacks or in your meals. Great immune-boosting ingredients include: ginger, garlic, broccoli, citrus, spinach, blueberries, tomatoes and green tea.
    What does this look like practically? Include blueberries and spinach in your smoothies (or try this berry-rich recipe), have cups of green tea with lemon, make a dish for dinner that includes garlic-roasted tomatoes and broccoli to your meals
  2.  Juice It Up

Start your day with a powwow of nutrients with a freshly pressed juice shots, including ingredients like ginger, lemon or orange, beetroot, carrot, apple, celery and, if you’re okay to spice it up: cayenne pepper.

    3. Sleep Better!
Good quality sleep means a higher functioning immune system. Set yourself up for sleep success by creating a healthy sleep routine, limiting light, noise and stimulants like caffeine and or and alcohol. Include downtime, introduce relaxing activities such as reading and drink calming teas, like chamomile.

4. Exercise Regularly
Boost your immune system with movement! Try these great home workouts for free!

5. Minimise Stress

Stress is an immunity zapper. Take responsibility for your health by setting yourself up success with these easy hacks: set aside five minutes to get up from your desk and walk around the office every couple of hours; listen to calming music while you work; reduce caffeine and increase water intake, journal thoughts in your lunch break or listen to calming, quick meditations and remember to relax your shoulders and take deep breaths.

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The Importance of Staying Hydrated in Winter: Tips and Strategies for Cold-Weather Hydration

We all understand the significance of staying hydrated during the scorching summer months, but what about winter? Staying hydrated in winter can be challenging as we often feel less thirsty and may not realise we’re not drinking enough. In this article, we will explore the importance of winter hydration, signs of dehydration, the amount of water we need, and provide practical tips to stay hydrated during the colder months.

Understanding the Importance of Hydration in Winter

Water plays a critical role in our bodies, constituting approximately 60-70% of our overall composition. It is essential for various bodily functions, such as transporting nutrients, eliminating waste, supporting the immune system, hydrating tissues and organs, maintaining blood pressure, and regulating body temperature. Adequate hydration is particularly crucial during winter to prevent hypothermia when spending time outdoors.

The Impact on the Immune System

Dehydration can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to airborne viruses. Lack of water can dry out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages, reducing their ability to resist infections.

Signs of Dehydration

Aside from feeling thirsty, there are other indicators that you may not be getting enough fluids. Monitoring the colour of your urine can provide insight into your hydration levels, with pale yellow or clear urine being the desired outcome. Other signs of dehydration include constipation, dry mouth or chapped lips and skin, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, feeling faint or dizzy, and a rapid heart rate. Daytime fatigue is also often linked to dehydration.

Determining Your Water Intake Needs

The recommended daily fluid intake, according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is approximately 3.7 litres for men and 2.7 litres for women. This includes fluids from various sources such as water, teas, juices, and hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables. However, individual water needs can vary based on factors like age, activity level, altitude, weather, and overall health.

Easy Tips for Staying Hydrated in Winter:

Opt for Warm Fluids: Drink warm water, hot herbal teas, or warming broths if cold water is less appealing during winter.

Add Flavour to Your Water: Enhance the taste of water by adding lemon or lime wedges, or infusing it with pieces of fruit for a refreshing twist.

Carry a Water Bottle: Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, encouraging hydration throughout the day, whether indoors or outdoors.

Drink Your Food: Increase your fluid intake by consuming homemade soups and dishes with water-rich fruits and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, melon, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Set Hydration Goals: Prioritise hydration by setting a daily water intake goal and tracking your progress. You can even treat yourself when you reach your goal!

Things to Avoid:

Limit Caffeine Intake: Caffeine acts as a natural diuretic, which can flush water and electrolytes from your body. Balance caffeinated beverages with an equal volume of water.

Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol should not be considered part of your fluid intake, as it can affect your perception of cold and increase the risk of hypothermia. Opt for an unsweetened seltzer with a slice of citrus or mixed berries instead.

In conclusion, staying hydrated during all seasons is important. By understanding the importance of hydration, recognising signs of dehydration, determining your water intake needs, and following practical tips, you can maintain optimal hydration levels throughout the colder months. Prioritise your health by making hydration a habit and enjoy the benefits of a well-hydrated body year-round.

 

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How To Make Fattoush – A Hearty Winter Salad

Fattoush is a Lebanese or Mediterranean salad dish that’s affordable, but filling and can easily be spruced up in a variety of ways. Here we show you how to make this recipe and ways in which you can enjoy it!

Fattoush is made from toasted or fried pieces of flatbread, combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. It’s simple and tasty and filling thanks to the pieces of flatbread in the salad. You can serve this alongside other pita ingredients, add in some extra grilled vegetables, spoon over some hummus and add the leftovers into a wrap.

Preparing Your Pita

If you have any leftover flatbread that’s getting a little stale, then this is the perfect recipe to whip up. To add life back into the flatbread, spritz with a little olive oil and bake in the oven until it starts to get golden edges. Alternatively, rip it into smaller quarters and toast in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Once ready, slice your pita into small pieces, around 1-2cm cubes.

What You Need:

  • 1 large head of crunchy lettuce (like Romaine or Cos, but Iceberg will also work), shredded or thickly sliced
  • 2-3 large ripe roma tomatoes, roughly diced (not too small)
  • 5-6 baby radishes, finely sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3-4 mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced (or a little red onion)
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • Handful of fresh Italian parsley
  • Pita bread (prepared according to above instructions)

For The Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses or honey (optional)

Method:

  • Place the lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cucumber and chopped onions in a large salad bowl.
  • Remove the mint stalks and roughly chop the herbs, adding to the salad.
  • Make the dressing, by whisking the ingredients together and then drizzling over the salad.
  • Toss in the pita bread pieces just before serving.

Fattoush is occasionally served with a few dollops of plain greek yoghurt, but you can also serve it with some hummus or baba ganoush on the side (both work so well with wraps too). Looking for some healthy hummus recipes? Click here for three tasty hummus recipes.

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