Preparing your immune system before the onslaught of the winter bugs arrive, will make all the difference in keeping those colds and flus to a minimum.
Simply – every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults such as these:
Good nutrition & healthy living strategies:
Getting your fill of essential immune defending vitamins and minerals, ensuring you’re having adequate sleep, actively reducing stress, looking after your gut, and reducing inflammation will all help prepare your body for the fight against those nasty winter invaders.
DIETARY CHANGES TO IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Our top natural supplemental recommendations for ‘Winter Wellness’
Vitamin C needs little introduction. As one of the most famous vitamins for boosting immunity, it’s a must-have in your winter first aid kit. What many people don’t realise is that the body doesn’t produce it for itself. Therefore, it’s so important you get enough of this vitamin, either through your diet or a high-quality supplement.
Zinc is involved in the development and functioning of the body’s infection-fighting white blood cells. Adults need eight to 12 milligrams of zinc a day, half of which is found in a palm-sized piece of lean red meat, and almost all in a single oyster. Non-animal sources are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and garlic.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin; even though we may feel like we have plenty of sunshine in the summer – we’re often deficient in this vitamin, especially in winter. Commonly known for keeping bones strong, it is also well known for its effective immune enhancing properties.
Echinacea is highly regarded for its ability to quickly support immunity against the common cold and can help to reduce the severity and duration of colds. Echinacea can also assist in the symptomatic relief of mild respiratory tract infections. The secret is to load up the dosage the first sign of you feeling unwell.
Astragalus is regarded as an immune tonic because it has restorative and strengthening effects, keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
Olive Leaf is well known for strengthening the immune system because of its strong antiviral properties. It also gives your immune system additional antioxidant support.
These supplements & herbs are available from the Mint Nutrition Clinic for acute prescribing or a prophylactic treatment plan to get you through the winter – Acute consultation $30 (15 mins) – make a booking here
Calm the farm!
We talk about nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support your immune system, but there are some other lifestyle changes you can make too.
High stress levels weaken your immune system. Sometimes you can’t eliminate all the causes of stress in your day-to-day life, but listen to your body and when it ‘asks’ for time off, don’t ignore it. Activities like reading, having a bath, walking, gently exercise, yoga etc. can be effective in releasing tension and stress.
This topic is huge (and we will cover it more fully in the next newsletter) but quite simply sleep is vital for both your mind and body. It’s preferable to get between seven to eight hours of sleep per night which gives your body a chance to rest, repair and keep that immune system of yours strong and ready to defend against any nasty invaders.
You have heard the saying you are what you eat, but we can now go further and say we are what we absorb. The gut needs to be in a healthy condition to allow, digestion, absorption and elimination to work well. Think about what you’re consuming, as certain nutrients will help maintain healthy digestion. Eating plenty of probiotic foods that are fermented such as, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha drinks, fermented soy – (tempeh and miso), as well as kimchi and sauerkraut will help to feed and nourish your digestive tract and enhance your immune system. A good quality probiotic is another way to help with optimal gut health.
A study of a German choir revealed that singing activates the spleen, helping to increase the blood concentrations of antibodies. If group singing isn’t for you, belt out your favourite tunes in the shower.