With the cold weather showing no signs of letting up and Christmas on its way, now is the time to strengthen your immune system and try to keep those pesky colds and flu at bay.
So here are our top immune boosting tips to keep you fighting fit during the winter months:
There are multiple clinical trials to support zinc’s efficacy as an immune boosting nutrient. However, despite it being one of the best nutrients for boosting your immune system, it’s also one that we are most commonly deficient in (especially for men). Foods like pumpkin seeds, legumes, walnuts and seafood are all high in zinc. If you are still struggling to get your zinc levels up, you can also talk to your GP or nutritional practitioner about taking a zinc supplement.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D, aka the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is essential for supporting a healthy immune system, amongst other things. During the autumn and winter months in the UK, we can’t get enough vitamin D from sunshine alone, so Public Health England recommends that all adults and children over the age of one take a supplement of vitamin D throughout this time. We love BetterYou’s oral sprays, which are a quick, easy and effective way to get your daily D.
- Gut flora
Many experts now believe that our gut flora can influence immunity across our whole system. With 70% of immune cells living within our gut, it follows that our gut health reflects our health in general. A good quality probiotic can help redress any imbalances in the gut and keep you feeling healthy. This one from Optibac is specially formulated to strengthen the immune system and contains Vitamin C.
- Elderberry extract
Elderberry is thought to support the immune system and relieve cold and flu symptoms. We love Viridian’s organic elderberry extract and vitamin C liquid, which is specially formulated to give immune support for the whole family.
- Cut down on sugar
Lots of sugar can cause a spike in insulin, which in turn can reduce the effectiveness of our white blood cells and make our immune system sluggish. Avoid sugary foods, and instead eat lots of slow burning carbohydrates, colourful vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. Garlic, onions and ginger are particularly good at boosting immunity, as well as Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach and kale.
- Stress less
While some stress is inevitable in our busy lives, consistent levels of stress over a prolonged period can weaken our immune systems and leave us more vulnerable to infection. Try and manage stress levels in whatever ways you can – whether it’s going for a walk outside in nature, spending time with loved ones, meditating or taking a long soak in a bath. If you need a something extra to help, herbal remedies have also been used for thousands of years to combat stress – two such remedies are rhodiola, which helps regulate the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, and ashwaganda, an Ayuvedic remedy used to calm and strengthen the mind. For more tips on how to beat stress and anxiety naturally, see our blog post here.
And when when it’s already too late…
Sometimes, try as you might, you just can’t help picking up the sniffles. For relief from symptoms of colds and flu, we love Vogel’s Echinaforce Hot Drink which contains echinacea concentrate.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01777 706384. Please note that everyone is different and if you have specific health concerns, you should contact your GP or nutritional practitioner.