Winter supplement guide
24th November 2018
The colder, damper weather means the incidence of colds and flu increases – not really what any of us want to hear this time of year!!
The immune system is easily compromised and there are many factors that affect this including age, health, activity level, sleep patterns and diet. The good news is that it is also relatively easy to give the immune system a boost.
Sleep and diet are the two main areas that we are able to control in order to help keep our immunity in tiptop condition.
If your body is fuelled efficiently and has a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals feeding it, it will not only help to reduce your risk of getting sick, but if you do get struck down with a virus or other illness, you’ll manage to bounce back a lot quicker. So, by supporting our system and looking after ourselves, we can build a huge array of soldiers inside us to help keep our immune system strong!
Below are a few supplements worth investing in. Magnesium and B vitamins are high on the list too but I will save them for another day.
Please seek medical advice through your doctor of health practitioner before supplementing especially if you are on any form of medication as the metabolism of medication can be altered by supplements.
Vitamin C has an important role in the immune system where it increases antibody production (proteins that help to fight external bacteria) due to its high antioxidant level. Fruit, particularly citrus fruits, and veggies are great sources. You can take up to 1000mg per day if you feel a little run down or have a cold. Vitamin C is one of those nutrients that you can take to bowel tolerance – so if you start to get an upset stomach you may have gone over your threshold.
Not only is this mineral a ‘must have’ for your thyroid gland, it is important for the production of neutrophils (which help fight infections.) Eggs and brazil nuts are good natural sources of selenium.
This powerful antioxidant helps to protect the skin and tissues which provide a barrier of infection. Sweet potatoes, kale, spinach and eggs are great natural sources.
This is super for mopping up free radicals around the body as it’s an antioxidant that helps to work on the defence mechanism. Almonds, avocado and peanut butter are good sources of vitamin E.
A lack of sunlight during the grey, winter months means deficiency in Vitamin D is relatively common since the sun is one of our main sources along with oily fish. It is arguably the most important nutrient to supplement for everyone that doesn’t live in a sunny climate. Almost every cell within the body contains a vitamin D receptor, therefore a deficiency can result if you aren’t supplementing. It plays an important role within the immune system and helps support the cytotoxic T-cells known as the killer cells and helps to within the signalling of this.
Up to 5,000 IU is often recommended in the depths of Winter!
I hope that this information has helped to inspire you to head to your local health store and pick up some good quality supplements. Please remember you get what you pay for so opt for the slightly more expensive ones which will in turn keep your healthier in the long run.
Here’s to a flu free Winter!
Love Kate x