Do you have a strong immune system for this winter?
Eat plenty of fresh garlic – a natural anti-microbial.
Add to soups and stews to warm and nourish you!
Do you have adequate building blocks in place to guard against colds and flu?
The top 5 reasons why you should book in to see a naturopath to support your immune system now!
1) Assessment of zinc levels
· Zinc is an important mineral required for a healthy immune system since deficient levels increase the risk of acquiring infections from the common cold virus. Evidence supports supplementary zinc to decrease the duration of the common cold, although self-prescribing may leave you a bit short, particularly if your levels are low. Susceptible individuals include vegetarians. The correct dosage is the key, and this can be ascertained by a naturopath based on your symptom history and in-clinic zinc tally taste test. It is important to assess your zinc levels to ensure your immune system is at optimal health to help guard against viral infections.
2) Ensure you are getting the best from your diet
· A diet rich in antioxidants and immune supporting vitamins such as C and A, and phytonutrients such as bioflavonoids and polyphenols are important building blocks for a healthy immune system. If you suspect a dietary intolerance you may require assistance to ensure you are getting the goods in. Top dietary tips for immune health are:
- Include raw crushed garlic and onions daily. Garlic contains the antimicrobial component called allicin (only activated once crushed and raw). Add to avocado or on top of scrambled eggs. Onions are high in quercetin (a vitamin C compound) which strengthens our cells.
- Include lemon and ginger tea upon rising. This is warming and assists our cells to detox.
- Include plenty of colourful vegetables and fruit daily.
- Keep processed foods containing sugar (and various forms) and preservatives to a minimum.
- Include lean protein (palm sized) with each meal.
- Include complex carbohydrates for more fibre to keep our bowels healthy.
- Keep well hydrated. Even in winter we need to assist our cells to remove toxins and absorb nutrients.
3) Assisting your first line of defence – optimal gut health
· If you’ve recently had a course of antibiotics, or have a history of colds and flu over the past year or two, it is important to ensure you have a healthy gastrointestinal tract – the first line of defence. Whilst antibiotics may have been prescribed for a reason, unfortunately they destroy our immune supporting gastrointestinal bacteria (the good bugs). Depending on your individual signs and symptoms, particular strains of probiotics may be prescribed to support your GIT health to allow your own innate good bacteria to replenish.
4) Ensuring you have your first aids ready for action
· Echinacea is a North American herb which assists the immune system by rallying up the troops during a virus attack. Evidence supports Echinacea as an immune stimulant herb due to the alkylamides (constituents responsible for inducing white blood cells). Depending on your immune health history, Echinacea can be taken throughout the winter at a dose suitable for you, and in combination with other herbs that may be indicated for you. Alternatively, it can be taken in tablet form and increased at times when you are exposed to the cold/ flu virus, or are feeling run down.
· Depending on your symptom history, other herbs such as Astragalus or Andrographis, or nutritional supplements such as vitamin A, C, and iron may be prescribed to correct insufficiencies to keep your immune system healthy.
5) Ensure you have nervous system and adrenal health support for stress management
· Physical and/or mental stress is undoubtedly a major precursor to getting sick with a cold or flu. If you are starting to run on empty, or have been pushing yourself with extra work demands/ family commitments you may require and benefit from herbs the improve your resilience. A class of herbs called ‘adaptogens’ include Withania, Rhodiola, Rehmannia, Bupleurum, Siberian ginseng to name a few may be specifically prescribed with nervous system supporting herbs such as passionflower, skullcap or chamomile to assist your work performance and improve your resilience.
Book in now to support your health this winter…