My February Article For Oasis Magazine!

Health 101-Maha Blakeway

By: Maha Blakeway

Winter is in full swing and with the

cold weather comes the flu season

– or more correctly, “respiratory

infection season,” since colds and

other respiratory illnesses tend to

increase during autumn and winter.

Winter is the best time to look after

yourself, therefore strengthening

your immune system should be your

first response to staying healthy.

Here are a few natural ways to bolster

your immune system, keeping you

healthy and happy this winter.

Eat your Vitamins

Consuming lots of fruits and

vegetables that are rich in Vitamin

C will not only boost your immunity

on a cellular level, but it will also help

battle cold and flu symptoms if you

do experience them.

Some high vitamin C foods include

citrus fruits kiwi, guava, persimmon,

potatoes, bell peppers, raw spinach,

and broccoli.

Reduce your Sugar Consumption

Refined sugar and its derivatives can

interfere with the way white blood

cells of your immune system clear

up the debris, compromising your

immune system.

A high sugar diet will reduce the

amount of beneficial bacteria that

lives in the gut. This bacteria is needed

for us to absorb nutrients from our

food. A diet high in sugar and carbs

can quickly lead to poor nutrition,

leaving you more vulnerable to viral

and bacterial infections.

Sugar comes in many forms and

names, such as Dextrose, Fructose,

Galactose, Glucose, Lactose, Maltose,

Sucrose, to name a few.

Increase Sulfur Rich Foods

Cruciferous vegetables such as

broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage,

turnips and bok choy (Chinese

cabbage) are good sources of sulfur

as they contain a substances known

as glucosinolates. These foods boost

your immunity and help resist

bacteria, protecting you against toxic


Get Moving

Exercise has been shown to improve

your mood and decrease feelings of

depression, anxiety and stress while

increasing your bone density and

building muscles. You don’t have to

subscribe to a gym, just get moving.

You can go for a 20 minute daily brisk

walk, engage in some light exercise

at home, take the stairs instead of

using elevators, or park your car far

away. All these tips help get you

moving and increase your overall


Drink Herbal Teas

Ginger, Echinacea, even green tea

with its high antioxidant levels are all

immune boosting and gut friendly

teas. Echinacea has been identified

as having anti-inflammatory,

antioxidant, and antiviral properties

acting as an immune-strengthening


Use Supplements

Lack of sun exposure during winter

can hinder your efforts to stay healthy.

Taking a good quality Vitamin D3 +

K2 supplement has been associated

with better overall health.

A study conducted by Queen Mary

University in the UK has shown that

Vitamin D supplements protect

against acute respiratory infections

including colds and flu.

The mineral magnesium is needed for

more than 300 biochemical reactions

in the body. It helps maintain normal

nerve and muscle function, supports

a healthy immune system, keeps the

heart beat steady, and helps with

bone remodeling. Modern intensive

agricultural methods have stripped

increasing amounts of minerals such

as magnesium from the soil in which

the food we eat grows.

Hence while most of us are deficient,

a magnesium glycinate supplement

is advisable. Zinc too is a crucial

mineral for immunity and bone


Zinc nutritional importance has

been known for a long time, but in

the last few decades its importance

in immune modulation has risen.

Zinc functions as a modulator of

the immune response through its

availability, which is tightly regulated

by several transporters and

regulators. When this mechanism is

disturbed, Zinc availability is reduced,

altering survival, proliferation and

differentiation of the cells of different

organs and systems and, in particular,

cells of the immune system. Zinc

deficiency affects cells involved in

both innate and adaptive immunity

at the survival, proliferation and

maturation levels. While acute Zinc

deficiency causes a decrease in innate

and adaptive immunity, chronic

deficiency increases inflammation.

Get Adequate Sleep

Getting a minimum of solid six to

eight hours of sleep helps you feel

rested. While you’re sleeping, your

brain and body don’t just shut down.

Internal organs and processes are

hard at work throughout the night,

detoxing and rejuvenating you.

Studies show that people who don’t

get quality or enough sleep are more

likely to get sick after being exposed

to a virus, such as a common cold

virus. If you suffer with insomnia,

try having a warm bath followed by

chamomile tea to have better sleep.

Maha Blakeway is a registered

Naturopathic Nutritionist and a

Functional Medicine Practitioner. For

more information, you can visit her

website at

Entertainment & RecLrifeeasttiyolne

Well being

Immune strength for health and happiness


February 20 CSA 29


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