Why just survive this winter season when you can thrive! Go Vita health specialists recommend getting a step ahead with a few simple strategies to support your immune system.
You can build up your resistance by supporting your immune system through healthy eating, exercise, rest and drinking plenty of water, as well as giving yourself an extra boost with a health management plan of natural supplements. Why not make your own immune health plan – to get you started, here’s Go Vita’s top 10 immune boosting strategies:
1. Top up with immune boosting vitamin C
Topping up vitamin C levels is a popular way of maintaining good immunity – particularly for the children of the household. Vitamin C requirements do vary from time to time, especially when we’re under attack from winter ills, so some extra vitamin C is a good insurance policy against colds and flu. Chewable vitamin C tablets are an easy way to get children’s bodies stocked. Or try mixing vitamin C powder (such as Blooms Natural Vitamin C powder from acerola cherry) in a glass of water or juice every morning and evening.
2. Get more sleep
Getting enough rest and plenty of sleep is crucial if you want your body to avoid winter lurgies. In a study published in 2009, people who slept less than seven hours per night over a two-week period were nearly three times more likely to get sick after exposure to a cold virus than people who slept more than eight hours.
3. Drink plenty of fresh alkalised water
Plenty of water helps to flush out toxins and the latest report from the Harvard School of Public Health states women need to consume around 2.75L and men need 3.75L a day. That means most of us need to drink a lot more water! According to new research, the hydrogen component of water has some profound effects on combatting toxicity, inflammation and degenerative disease. Go Vita health specialists recommend using an advanced water filter system such as the AlkaWay UltraStream to ensure pure, contaminant free, and hydrogen-rich alkaline water.
4. Stress less, relax more
Relaxation breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and tai chi all help reduce stress levels and keep your immune systems strong. Ongoing stress has a detrimental effect on the immune system, and may increase your risk of contracting upper respiratory tract infections.
5. Scrub up and keep germs away
Wash your hands! That’s the number one rule for keeping seasonal nasties out of your system. Although it’s something that’s drummed into us during childhood, it seems as if we’ve forgotten – American research reports only 75 per cent of females and 58 per cent of males wash their hands. Which is disconcerting since a little scrubbing can help prevent a number of illnesses such as colds and tummy bugs.
6. Have a cuppa
Curling up with a cup of green tea (we like Onno Behrends Natural Green) can help fight off infections and even rejuvenate your skin cells. It has to do with the chemicals called alkylamines in the tea. Research published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine has found that the high level of antioxidants in the tea helps improve immunity.
7. Take a probiotic
Poor diet, stress, caffeine and alcohol as well as antibiotic use can all take their toll on the numbers of friendly gut bacteria. These bacteria play an important role in protecting our body from infection. Taking a probiotic supplement can enhance the populations of these bacteria and benefit our immune system and health. Results from a number of studies indicate that the consumption of certain strains of probiotic bacteria may protect adults and children against respiratory infections and the common cold.
8. Get up and move more
Don’t use winter as an excuse to avoid exercise! The key is exercising regularly at a moderate intensity – including a half hour brisk walk, a few kilometres of gentle cycling or other moderate exercise three to four times a week to reduce the likelihood of suffering colds and flu this winter. Don’t go overboard though. Heavy exercise carried out over the long term may actually have a negative effect on your immune system, and increase your risk of catching a cold or respiratory infection.
9. Go herbal
A daily maintenance dose of olive leaf during the winter months can keep the dreaded lurgy at bay! Research in Scientia Pharmaceutica reports that the humble olive leaf is home to oleuropein, its active compound, an antioxidant (so will help fight those free radical nasties), an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral (which means it helps kills those bugs that make you sick). Taken daily, olive leaf helps reduce the risk and incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. For an added bonus, it has cardio protective qualities, which means it will help look after your heart.
10. Include raw supplements in your day
Raw supplements are concentrated wholefoods that are minimally processed in order to maintain their original qualities. Consuming essential nutrients in their raw form encourages your body to build a stronger immune system, leaving you less prone to winter ills. Amazonia Raw Immune is a formula which combines immune boosting superfruits, vegetables, herbs and natural sea minerals. The formula contains nothing artificial, no synthetic nutrients instead it contains live, activated superfoods to boost your immune health.
Keeping kids well
We all know the joys of children and the wonderful gifts they bring home from day care and school – such as runny noses and constant wheezes and sneezes! One way parents dealt with this in the past was using over-the-counter cough syrups. However, new changes to TGA labelling requirements means that many of these medicines are no longer allowed to be sold for children under six, and should only be given to children aged 6 – 11 years under doctor’s advice. The government found that these drug-based medicines don’t really help that much and also have health risks. So now frustrated parents are in search of safe alternatives for their children – well look no further! Take a visit to your local Go Vita store and take a look at companies such as Brauer and Martin & Pleasance (Dr Schuessler) who have specific ranges for babies and children based on natural homoeopathic and cell salt remedies.