1   4
1   14
0   1
0   1
0   2
0   4
0   3
0   5
0   2
0   3

Look after yourself this winter: immune system​ 101

It’s the time of that time of the year, where everyone should be washing hands a little more often than usual. After all, the common cold season is upon us. I’m aware that’s not a very ‘festive’ thought to have. What is it that they say in sports? The best defence is a good offence!

According to Mintel’s April 2018 report, 68% of the UK population are failing to take measures to avoid contracting winter cold.

Get your vitamins in

A rather dull first point, but it is true. For a healthy immune system, you should be eating enough fruits and vegetables. Getting all the essential vitamins are key, and this is best achieved by having a varied diet.

Nutritionist Cassandra Barns suggests opting for vegetables rather than fruit for that Vitamin C boost.

“This is certainly true for broccoli, which can contain more than our RDA of vitamin C in just 100 grams (about one-third of a head of broccoli). Broccoli also has anti-inflammatory properties and can support detoxification too, both of which can help us to stay well – or feel better faster, ” she said.

Thank you, next.

Stay active

Going to the gym on a cold winter evening is the last thing I fancy as well. However, Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare, stresses that exercise boosts immunity, aids digestion and produces ‘feel good’ endorphins.

Get enough rest

I guess this is a no-brainer? Tired body = weaker body and more prone to all the naaaaasties floating around.

It’s all in the gut

Did you know that your gut wall houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system? Freya Twigden, the founder of Fix8, says fermented tea is the best probiotic for a healthy gut.

“Probiotic bacteria are best consumed in food form (like kombucha), and liquid is even better as it’s more bioavailable to the body. There is little stark science on kombucha (being an ancient drink and not really worth investing evidence-based research in it seems), but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of people saying it helps with their IBS and general energy levels.”

I have an ‘anecdote’ of my own regards fermented teas. Before I moved to England and before kombucha was trendy, my mom used to make me drink it. I remember those days as torture because we did not have flavouring options and the kombucha mushroom looked like something out of the Alien film. Think that part in Alien 3, where Ripley’s character is leaning against the beige/off-white tile wall, and the alien is leaning into her, slobbering all over the place. Growing up, I used to watch my mum take the mushroom out of the jar she was fermenting the tea in, and it would always leave a trail of drool. Ew. However, my mom to this day swears by it for a healthy gut.

Others like Dr Mark Winwood suggest avoiding processed food especially high in saturated fats for a healthy gut.

Stay hydrated, babeeeh

Drinking water is important all year round but especially in the winter. Everything in your body functions better with water. Chances are that you might not feel as thirsty in the winter because your body temperature is lower. Water flushes out all the naaaaasties.

Cold showers? Um.

Olly Leicester, a health coach ‘swears by cold showers’ in the morning after completing a cold exposure course last December with Wim Hof.

“More white blood cells are produced in the cold – these are the ones that help defend against disease!

If you’re still not convinced, according to Olly, cold showers have other benefits as well, such as:

  •  improves alertness and energy;
  • improves skin and hair;
  • aids weight loss;
  • relieves stress.

Whether you choose to have an extra kombucha shot in the morning or a cold shower (brrr), it is important to take care of yourself! Stay healthy, stay happy so you can spread some god damn kindness around you!



  1. Ashley Firth
    December 20, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    I really needed to read this post! During the holiday season, it’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself. I certainly need to up my fruit and veg! I love the tip regarding cold showers! I’m going to try this and see if it helps – it seems to have so many benefits 🙂

    • itssimonaa
      December 20, 2018 / 9:24 pm

      Good luck! I don’t know if I’m brave enough. Brrrrr. But I’m sure it’s actually really good for you!

  2. December 20, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    Really needed this post! My immune system has been so weak since leaving the Australian summer and I’ve had three different colds in less than a month. Will definitely try these out ASAP!

    • itssimonaa
      December 20, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Aw, I was in Aus last winter (their summer) and once I got back to the UK I fell ill as well! It must be ALL the traveling that doesn’t help as well.

  3. December 21, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    I loved this! It’s so important to take care of yourself inside and out, especially in the colder months when there are more bugs and stuff around. I was nodding along with you until I got to the cold shower. I know they’re good for you but I don’t think I can stretch that far! x


    • itssimonaa
      December 21, 2018 / 11:31 pm

      Yeah, the cold showers still are a bit outside my comfort zone. 😂

      I did speak to Olly in detail about it and I’m convinced the hype is real… it’s just, man, whyyyyyyy. 😂

Leave a Reply