It’s not just the drop in temperature that heralds the start of Winter. It’s when nearly everyone you run into is battling a cold, coming down with something or has just spent a week of work you know Winter is near! But what if you could take out a wellness ‘insurance policy’ of sorts against colds and flus? We share our tips to boost your immune function and help insure against illness this Winter.
Key Nutrients for a Strong Immune System
There’s a good reason why most oranges are in season during the colder months! Oranges and 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.
Zinc is another powerful immune system supporter, found in meat, eggs, seafood, nuts and seeds. Zinc helps infection-fighting white blood cells to be deployed at the first sign of a disease-causing invader, such as 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. Our vitamin D stores tend to decline as you spend more time indoors and less time soaking up the sunshine required to manufacture your own supply. You may wish to take a supplement during this time of year to help maintain your infection-fighting capacity over the winter months.
Good Gut Health = Strong Immune System
Believe it or not, your gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 70% of your immune system, so it’s vital your gut is populated with plenty of beneficial micro-organisms. The micro-organisms are central to you maintaining optimal immune function and different strains of probiotics have different health benefits. Look for Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM strain) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG and HN019 strains) to help you reduce the incidence of respiratory infections that are common in winter.
Lifestyle Tips to Support Good Health
Here’s your official prescription to schedule regular ‘down time’! Stress and being on the go constantly can significantly drain your immune function and leave you more susceptible to any viruses you come in contact with. Recharge with regular relaxation and ‘me time’ such as reading a good book, getting a massage, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a long soak in a warm bath. Ensuring you get sufficient sleep also enables your body to rest and repair, keeping you ready to fight whatever battles you may encounter tomorrow.
Prevention is Better Than Cure!
Don’t just succumb to yet another cold or flu this winter, take out a wellness ‘insurance policy’ and help support your immune system and actually enjoy this slower season. We invite you to come in and speak to your GP here at Northside Health to discuss how we can boost your infection-fighting capacity with high quality, clinically effective Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D and immune-boosting probiotics and what doses are best.