Many of us are experiencing the colds and flus that come along with the winter season. However, there are some tips and tricks to help keep those seasonal colds at bay.
How immune fit are you?
Immune fitness is a state in which our immune system is resilient and can cope with external challenges eg stress or a slip up with your diet by regulating an appropriate immune response. Immune fitness is influenced by our;
- Gut health
- Nutritional status
- Light exposure
- Movement and exercise
- Connection, fun and laughter
If any of these areas are lacking or absent they can potentially reduce our body’s ability to fight infection.
Some immune boosting supplements for you to consider are: Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
- Zinc is a mineral that is required for optimal immune cell function as it is thought to act as an antioxidant and reduces free-radicals during inflammation. Zinc is found in good amounts in meat, shellfish such as oysters and pepitas.
- Vitamin C is another essential vitamin for immune health as it mediates cell function in order to reduce harmful bacteria within the body. It is also very important in adapting to stress. Deficiencies in vitamin C have shown to cause impaired immune health and increased susceptibility for infections, hence supplementing Vitamin C appears to both treat and prevent infections. Taking 1-2g in divided doses or up to 6g in split doses or bowel tolerance for stressed individuals. A good vitamin C supplement ideally should also contain bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is readily available from fresh fruit and vegetables. Be mindful of the fact that it will reduce by 50% when cooked. Green leafy vegetables and herbs such as parsley are excellent sources of vitamin C.
- Studies are showing that a lack of Vitamin D can also result in an impaired immune system and higher susceptibility for infections in the body. Hence it can be thought that there are positive effects on the immune system with a vitamin D supplement. It is important to get daily sunshine.
Immune protective foods
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha
- Herbal teas such as green tea, turmeric, ginger, chai, YEP tea (yarrow, elder & peppermint)
- Antimicrobial herbs & spices such as garlic which has an anti viral activity, turmeric which is anti-inflammatory and ginger
- Easy to digest proteins to ensure building blocks of immunity – broths, chicken soup, warming stews
- Honey as an antimicrobial & soothing for sore, scratchy throats
- Stay hydrated
It is recommended to seek professional Naturopathic advice or other health care practitioner to get a personalised prescription at the correct dosage. Naturopaths can assist in providing you with a treatment plan for building your immune system naturally through nutritional supplements, dietary advice and herbal supplements.
Be well, Stay well naturally!
Book an appointment with our Naturopath Melissa to discuss more! Appointments can be made online through our website or by calling us on (07) 3892 1440
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