It’s that time of year again. The winter chill has set in and this can begin a slippery slide to the colds and flu’s that tend to accompany the season. However, this needn’t be an inevitable part of winter. Prevent or shorten the duration of colds and flu’s and fortify your immune system with our tips to get you through winter.
Your immune system can be thought of as an army which protects the body against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Here at Health Zone we recommend you support your immune system with supplements such as Echinacea, Vitamin C and Zinc over the winter months. These work to boost and strengthen a struggling immune system, and act to prevent infections taking hold in a healthy immune system.
Additionally great options for supporting immune health are: Olive leaf for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties; Sambucus Black Elderberry Extract – The Dark blue/black berries of Sambucus migra L. have many naturally-occurring nutritional substances such as Rutin, Quercertin (flavonoids) and Anthocyanins which support the immune system, especially during the winter season or when experiencing extra stress; Beta Glucans; or the wonderful herb Astragalus.
Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, deficiency of which can lead to a weak immune system and a low mood over winter. If you are prone to a low mood and re-current infections over the winter months, it is especially important to take Vitamin D during this time.
Supplement with Probiotics regularly, as a large part of the immune system resides in the gut, therefore healthy bacterial balance is vital for a healthy and strong immune system.
Dietary and lifestyle tips:
- Avoid refined sugar, as it suppresses the immune system, and try to keep dairy products to a minimum – dairy products encourage the production of mucous, which is obviously not helpful if you are suffering from a cold and already have a copious supply!
- Warm Manuka honey, ginger and lemon drinks help to warm and cleanse the system, and keep nasty bugs at bay.
- Go for an abundance of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables in your diet, especially those that contain Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium which support a healthy immune system.
- Reduce stress wherever possible, as it does your immune system no favours.
- Get outdoors as much as possible. Exposure to sunshine – even if it is only your hands and face – increases your body's Vitamin D supply.
- Don’t take life too seriously, and laugh often. This has wonderful benefits for the immune system.
- Have plenty of warming and nourishing soups, stews, and casseroles, and spices such as garlic, turmeric, cayenne and ginger over the winter season.
Armed with advice on how to ward off winter’s ills and chills, stay rugged up, and enjoy the changing of the seasons!