Fight the winter blues!

Posted by on 11 June 2019

couple with cold

This winter has been particularly bad one when it comes to colds and flu.  The Flu is definitely nothing to be sneezed at that’s for sure!  There are ways you can increase your immune system so if you do encounter the flu this season your body will be more prepared for it.  

Maintain a healthy diet:

By eating platy of fruit and vegetables, less processed foods and avoiding foods with high sugar content will help keep your immune system strong.   Vegetables contain many key nutrients that our body needs to fight off infections such as Vitamin C and Zinc. 

Get your daily dose of Vitamin D

Sunshine during the winter months can be hard to get especially on those cold, wet drizzly days.  We are more likely to be inside hibernating with our uggies on, hot cup and tea in hand and doing anything to stay warm.  Vitamin D plays a very important role in the overall function of your immune system, so if you are inside a lot or its been raining and you haven’t been in the sun for a few days take a supplement, at least 1000IUs per day. =

Look after your gut

Can you believe that your gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 70% of your immune system!  So, it makes sense if its healthy so you can have an optimal immune function.  This is ensuring your gut is populated with plenty of beneficial bacteria or ‘probiotics’ to keep those nasty bugs away!  Strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM strain) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG and HN019 strains) are particular in reducing the incidence of respiratory infections common in winter.  Talk to me today about getting a practitioner probiotic specific for immune boosting!

Mushrooms are very good for the immune system

Fungi Force Field Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of use in Asian cultures and are now known to have potent antiviral activity. In particular, the immune-boosting potential of reishi, shiitake, cordyceps and coriolus mushrooms have been extensively studied. Not only can they help reduce the length and severity of an acute cold, but they can help prevent future recurrences.  Available in tablet or powder, speak to me today about immune boosting mushrooms!

Herbal Medicine:

There are herbs you can to prevent getting sick and then there are herbs you can take if you do get sick.  My favorites are:

Astragalus-this herb has been traditionally used for centuries to support healthy immune function. It increases white blood cell count and can help to reduce the severity and duration of colds and other respiratory infections.

Andrographis-this herb is taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, used to stimulate the bodies natural immune response!  Apparently, this herb was responsible for stopping the 1919 flu in India however it hasn’t been proven. I love this herb and always use it to treat colds and flus it works incredibly  well!

Echinacea-who hasn’t heard of Echinacea?  It’s one if the most talked about herbs for colds and flus.  This herb is great when taken early enough to help combat cold and flu symptoms,

California Poppy-This herb is a natural pain killer, so it helps with aches and pain associated with the flu.  It also has a mild sedative action and can help with sleep.

Mindfulness, dealing with stress and anxiety

Busy people often forget to prioritise regular ‘down-time’, but the stress of being on the go all the time can significantly drain your immune function and leave you more susceptible to falling prey to any viruses you may come in contact with. Help yourself recharge by scheduling 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.

Stay home!!

Taking the time to rest and recuperate reduces the risk of spreading the infection to your colleagues and helps you to recover sooner. The lifestyle prescription when you are unwell is sleep, sleep and more sleep! Resist the temptation to check your work emails. Instead, focus your efforts on restoring your energy levels with warm, nourishing foods such as soups; drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost as you blow your nose repeatedly; and avoid mucus-promoting, inflammatory foods such as dairy and processed foods.

Megan Inferrera

Naturopath

Dianella