What Can I Do To Protect Against Viruses This Winter

Top Nutrients For Virus Protection

We all know that being overly busy and under stress can drain our immune system, leaving us susceptible to infections. Colds, flus and other viruses can hit after we’ve been simply pushing ourselves too hard.

Healthy immunity starts on your plate – focus on wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables in an array of colours and healthy proteins such as nuts and seeds to help your body produce infection fighting white blood cells. Warming spices like cinnamon and ginger are wonderful to add in to your diet by adding to food or using as a hot drink. Ginger is soothing for a sore throat and helps boost immunity. Manuka honey helps reduce coughs and can be taken straight off the spoon or dissolved in warm water for a comforting drink.

In terms of diet choices, try to include foods that help feed healthy bacteria in the gut which, in turn, will keep your immune system strong. Fibre found in fruits and vegetables is important as well as any fermented food like sauerkraut or kimchi as well as drinks like kefir and kombucha. Gradually introduce fermented foods for their immune boosting benefits.

Probiotics restore the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut which may be compromised due to excess sugar in the diet, stress, antibiotics and steroids. There is more awareness nowadays of the necessity to take a probiotic especially after a course of antibiotics. But it can also be very supportive when you have a busy lifestyle to take a daily probiotic over the winter months.

During the cold weather, we are more drawn to hot drinks like tea and coffee which can be dehydrating. It is important to keep drinking water to lubricate mucous membranes which can help reduce build up of phlegm and help with overall energy and wellbeing.

Fighting Off Germs Isn’t Easy

Here are the top ten supplements I recommend which can be part of your immune toolkit over the busy Christmas period:

1. Vitamin C and zinc - Patrick Holford Immune C – contains Vitamin C, zinc, ginger and black elderberry (shown to reduce duration and severity of symptoms).

2. Vitamin D – Solgar Vitamin D3 2,200 IU is an excellent brand delivering Vitamin D in the form that is easiest to use in the body.

3. Quercetin – Higher Nature Quercetin and Bromelain provides anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties due to its antioxidant properties. It also has anti-allergic properties.

4. Echinacea – well known herb for targeting colds. Irish Botanica Echinacea is a high strength liquid and can be taken up to 3 times daily at the first sign of a cold.

5. Fortuss Otosan Cough Syrup – a natural and hydrating formula for treating dry and productive coughs – suitable for adults and children and contains Manuka Honey.

6. Herbetom is an excellent cough syrup containing propolis, elderberry, thyme and eucalyptus and suitable for all the family (children, age 3 onwards).

7. Dr. Wolz Zell Oxygen Immunkomplex– a liquid immune tonic extracted from fruit and vegetables containing beta glucans, selenium, zinc and a range of vitamins which are absorbed easily and quickly to boost immunity.

8. Mullein leaf is an excellent herb for helping to loosen mucous making it easier to cough up – available in tincture and teas.

9. Viridian Enhanced Rhodiola is a fantastic product for those who are dealing with stressful lifestyle which compromises their immune system. It is really good for regulating cortisol and helping to improve sleep where stress has been causing issues in this area.

10. For an all round support during the Christmas season, a very natural immune tonic is Bio-Strath Elixir which is available in liquid or tablet form. It strengthens and supports the immune system and keeps energy levels topped up.

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