While there is still so much we don’t know about the current threat to our nation’s health, it makes sense to stay vigilant and do what we can to support a healthy immune system.
Read our top tips for immune health…
Getting enough rest and sleep is crucial. During sleep, the immune system’s fuel tank is topped up. In a study published in 2009, people who slept less than 7 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 8 hours.
Vitamin C is better known and more widely used than any other supplement. It helps support a healthy immune system and may also minimise the duration of cold symptoms.
A review of 6 studies found vitamin C reduced cold incidence by 50%. Plus, it assists the absorption of iron, critical to immune health.
One to three grams of vitamin C daily used in conjunction with zinc may decrease susceptibility to viruses.
Vitamin D may be less well known but a recent study of 19,000 people showed those with low levels of vitamin D suffered more colds and flu. 2,000IU of vitamin D3 daily is our suggestion to help maintain a healthy immune system.
Exercise can flush bacteria and waste from the body through the lungs and via sweating. This is believed to reduce the chances of developing colds and coughs. The key is exercising regularly at a moderate intensity.
Ongoing stress has a detrimental effect on the immune system and may increase your risk of contracting infections. This is referring to the accumulated effect of ongoing stressors such as work stress, relationship problems and grief.
Manage everyday stresses with meditation, counselling and adrenal herbs like Siberian ginseng and withania (AKA ashwagandha).
Immune formula products can be a good option as they contain immune-supporting herbs such as andrographis, echinacea, astragalus, olive leaf and tulsi.
Garlic has been used for centuries for its anti-viral and anti-fungal benefits. Research also confirms that it helps support a healthy immune system.
Sugar, alcohol and processed/junk foods add little in the way of nutrition but instead decrease white blood cell activity and contribute to a lowered immunity over time.
When it comes to supporting immune health, the more varied your fruit and veggie intake, the better.
Eating a wide range of fresh produce ensures you’ll receive a variety of nutrients, especially immune-enhancing antioxidant vitamins A and C.
And, don’t forget to hydrate. Water helps with the removal from toxins from the body. Drinking 2 litres of water daily can have a positive impact on your immune system.
Naturopaths and health consultants at Go Vita Tanunda are here to support you. We encourage you to visit us for more detailed advice, specific to your own situation.