Winter Wellness

28 Jan 2014 11:27 AM-

Winter Is Coming

Are you at the mercy of winter each year? Do those dreaded
colds and flus leave you and your family with runny noses,
coughs, sore throats, headaches, fevers and fatigue through
the winter months? These symptoms are often the leading cause
of time away from school and work. Now is the perfect time to
boost your immune system and defend against cold and flu
symptoms. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Sharing, Not Always Caring

If you frequently catch colds and flus, it may be that your
immune system is out of balance and making you more
susceptible to catching infections that are all too often shared
around at this time of year.
If you have nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet, stress,
inadequate rest or a lack of exercise; your immune system
may not be primed to recognise and respond to the viral and
bacterial invaders responsible for infection.

Which Bugs Bug You?

Viruses, such as Rhinovirus, are the common cause of colds
and flus, rather than bacteria, despite common thought.
Antibiotics target bacteria and are not effective against viral
infections and the common cold. Luckily, there is natural
support for your immune defences against both viruses and
bacteria so they won’t keep bugging you and making you sick.

Winter Warriors – The Natural Kind

If sneezing and wheezing, coughs and sore throats are
common visitors at your house, do yourself a favour and
prime your immune defences to protect you against viral and
bacterial intruders.
Key herbs and nutrients play a crucial role as natural winter
warriors helping to protect you and your family this season:
• Andrographis: This immune herb given at 6 g has been
shown to be as effective as paracetamol for reducing
fever and sore throat. Together with Zinc and Picrorrhiza,
Andrographis may also help to reduce duration of illness.
• Elderberry is an excellent herb to help reduce flu symptoms
such as fever and runny noses.
• Cordyceps, Coriolus and Reishi are medicinal mushrooms
that specifically target virally-infected cells, often the cause
of those winter colds and flus. These medicinal mushrooms
can be taken both acutely and also for chronic infections,
to help get restore a healthy functioning immune system.
• Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C: These key nutrients are
all important to help reduce the severity and duration
of illness, whilst also supporting your immune system to
function optimally.

The Gut – Your Link to Immunity

Did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune system is
actually located in your digestive system? Understanding
this will emphasise how important it is to look after your gut
health. Your diet and the overall functioning of your digestive
system will affect your immune system. Probiotics not only
help with digestion, but there are also key probiotics that
help your immune system. The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus
acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and
Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 have been shown to help boost
your immune system function.

Eating To Stay Well Through Winter

Healthy eating plans are essential throughout winter to
help strengthen your immune system. Maintaining good
nutritional status can help keep you healthy and reduce
your risk of getting sick, as well as aiding faster recovery.
• Eat seasonally, fresh and organic as much as possible.
• Eat a well-balanced Mediterranean style diet with plenty of
fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats.
• Reduce inflammatory foods that can suppress immune
function and are mucous-forming, such as dairy, sugar,
white breads, cakes and soft drinks.
• Try a hot fresh lemon, garlic and ginger tea with a dash
of honey, or thyme tea to soothe a sore throat.
• Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per
day, and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.
• Take time to rest and relax, and get a good night’s sleep.

Welcome Winter With Wellness

Don’t be at the mercy of this season’s colds and flus. By acting
now and boosting your immune system to prime it against
common invaders, you too can get through these winter
months without suffering at the hands of the common cold
or flu. If someone has already started kindly ‘sharing’ their
bugs, immune herbs and nutrients and a healthy diet will also
help you by reducing the severity and duration of illness. Let’s
look forward to winter this year and welcome it in a state of
wellness.

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