Whether you like it or not, winter is coming, and with the cold comes the annual bout of winter sickness. Every winter when you get sick, you tell yourself to be more prepared next year.
But inevitably, another year rolls around, and it’s too late. As soon as someone sneezes at work, school, or home, you find yourself with yet another cold or flu.
It does not have to be that way this winter season. Arm yourself and your family with the tools to build strong immune defences to reduce your risk of getting sick.
If you do get sick, a strong immune system will also reduce the severity of your cold and flu symptoms, and help to speed your recovery.
Key Nutrients for a Strong Immune System
Remember when your mum told you to eat oranges in winter to help keep colds at bay? She was right! Citrus fruits of all kinds are rich in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that plays a key role in the mobilisation of your immune system defences. However, vitamin C is not the only nutrient beneficial to your immune system.
Zinc is another powerful immune system supporter, which can be found in high quality meat, eggs, seafood, nuts and seeds. Zinc helps infection-fighting white blood cells to be deployed at the first sign of a virus or bacteria. These two nutrients form an essential immune system foundation to help reduce the incidence and severity of colds and infections.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in the overall function of your immune system, working behind the scenes to help ‘marshal’ your immune cells to the site of an infection. During winter, your stores of vitamin D can decline as you spend more time indoors and less time soaking up the sunshine required to manufacture your own supply. That’s why supplementing with this important vitamin can help maintain your infection-fighting capacity over the winter months. Your Naturopath can recommend high quality, clinically effective immune-boosting nutrients at the correct dose to help you stay well this winter
Looking after your gut = Looking after your immunity
Believe it or not, your gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 70 per cent of your immune system, so ensuring your gut is populated with plenty of good bacteria is central to you maintaining optimal immune function.
These probiotics are now understood to have very different health benefits depending upon their strain, with certain specific strains able to support your immune system and help keep it in top form. Supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM strain) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG and HN019 strains) in particular can reduce the incidence of respiratory infections that are common in winter. Speak with your Naturopath about supporting your gut with specific immune-boosting probiotics.
Lifestyle and dietary recommendations
There’s plenty you can do to avoid the cold and flu this season. Incorporate these handy tips into your life to improve your resistance and support recovery from colds and flus:
- Rest! Give your body a chance to gather strength and make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
- Eat warm, nourishing foods. Homemade chicken and vegetable soup can help break down mucus that often comes with colds and flus. If you don’t have an appetite, the broth alone will provide minerals and vitamins to give you strength.
- Eat foods such as garlic, ginger, onion and chilli to help fight off illness, warm you up and reduce inflammation.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated.
Make sure you are prepared this cold and flu season – and remember, prevention is better than cure! Have all the essential immune nutrients on hand this winter. You may want to include zinc, vitamin C, probiotics and andrographis in your immune first aid kit, to keep you and your family well this winter. Everyone will want to know your secret of how you keep well.
If you want to learn more about staying well this winter, book a free 15 minute phone chat with a qualified Naturopath. Click here to book now.
Do you want to avoid catching any pesky colds and flus this winter season?
Click here to download our free guide on preparing your immune system and warding off colds and flus naturally.