Ask a naturopath: Winter wipes me out!Home » Blog » Eric Bakker » Ask a naturopath: Winter wipes me out!
Eric suggests ways to stay afloat this cold, wet winter
"I typically find winter wipes me out with colds, and triggers increased fatigue. Also, I seem to be particularly susceptible to cold sores during this season. I take vitamin C and echinacea to help boost my immune system, but this doesn't seem to help a great deal. Admittedly, I tend to eat more junk food during winter to help ease the blues. Being a full-time student, my budget is tight, so some advice which is affordable would be appreciated!" –Lance
I always tell patients that good health is like a see-saw, with resistance being on the one end and susceptibility being on the other. When your susceptibility is increased (due to colds, stress, exams, relationships, take-away food, alcohol, late nights, computers/social media and a hectic student life in general) your resistance will be way down. Work on improving your lifestyle first and foremost as this will cost you nothing.
Vitamin C does work; the problem I find is that most people don’t take enough of it or for long enough to give the desired effect. It is my secret weapon to a great immune system – I never seem to get sick and have taken 3 grams daily for more than ten years.
Take 1500mg twice daily in water, ideally in a powdered form. A glass of tepid water each morning with the juice of half a lemon is a great base to add the vitamin C powder to.
Get more sleep – students need all the energy, immune resistance and brain power they can muster. Sleep is one of the most important health boosters that gives you all this and more – and it costs zilch likewise.
Reduce your intake of alcohol, pizza and take-out in general (too expensive) and choose to make your own home cooked meals which are based around vegetables and meats, like stir fried dishes and casseroles (cheaper and far better for your health).
Good luck with your exams!
Eric Bakker is clinical director of The Naturopaths (www.naturopath.co.nz)