Winter arrives, we batten down the hatches, turn the heating up and snuggle up under a blanket as the cold wind blows. This as it turns out, this a perfect breeding ground for bugs and bacteria that can affect even the healthiest of people. We at Reigate Ladies don’t want to hibernate, we love being out in the fresh air. It’s fair to say that there’s hardly any weather that we won’t go out in. But how do we keep ourselves healthy enough to do so?

We teamed up with Inside Out Health in Reigate to find out how we can beat the lurgy to keep ourselves stay running all through the year.

The fabulous team at Inside Out Health talked us through how we can take preventative steps to boost our immune system. They started by talking about foods that we could include in our diet that will naturally help to restore health. These included:

Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables: high in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to keep the immune system strong.

Fresh garlic: for its anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. (Crush it and leave it for 10-15 minutes before adding it to salad dressings or hot food, to allow the active compound allicin to be fully released, which is what has the therapeutic benefits.)

Organic chicken soup: use homemade chicken stock or Organic bone broth. Add some cooked chicken and green vegetables for a nourishing and restorative soup. This can be made in advance and frozen ready for when you feel unwell.

Replace sugar: with natural sweeteners like stevia or xylitol (in small doses). Cinnamon and berries are also great to add natural sweetness to food.

Soothing hot tea: Echinacea and Elderberry; try fresh ginger (1-2 inches) sliced and cinnamon stick. Leave to brew and drink for sore throats and coughs. For colds try 1/2 lemon squeezed with ginger slices, hot water and manuka honey (1tsp)

Drink plenty of water: or herbal tea (2 litres per day)

Eat fermented foods: as naturally contains probiotics - important for the immune system (majority of the immune system is in the gut!) E.g. kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi.

The team went on to talk about how we can help ourselves with supplements, and I think we were all fascinated by how deficient in vitamin D we are as our bodies cannot store enough in the summer months to get us through winter. It seems as runners that it is really important to keep our vitamin D levels up, not only to help our immune system but to assist with endurance and tiredness.

Inside Out Health provided plenty of samples of the supplements and there was a definite winner when we tried the Elderberry syrup. This syrup can be used a preventative for colds and sore throats, it tastes delicious and can be sprinkled over porridge or made into a hot toddy. Inside Out Health also recommended the following supplements:

Echinacea, Beta Glucans, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Elderberry, Zinc, Probiotic

It truly was a fantastic, informative night. We hope to have many more evenings with Inside Out Health in the following months, covering all areas from hormone balance to children’s health. Keep your eyes peeled for the next invitation.

If you would like to discuss anything mentioned in the above, please feel free to pop in to Inside Out Health Reigate and talk with their friendly team.

Love Anna and Emma x