Leading health experts have offered their top tips for ensuring your immune system is up to scratch during the cold weather.
Sarah Orrechia founded the natural health brand, Unbeelievable Health, which specialises in supplements based on the benefits of propolis, and has offered some simple tips to ensure you don’t succumb to illness because your immune system islow.
“There’s a lot of worry these days, not only with new strains of ‘flu, but also with the surge of viruses such as the Corona outbreak. The UK Health and Safety Executive reported that in 2018, over 25 million days of work were lost due to poor health. For students, over 18 million days of school were missed,” she explained.
“Ensuring your immune system is functioning well is one of the best ways to help reinforce your natural defences to help avoid illness or to lessen the duration and intensity of symptoms.”
She also offered top tips from experts who recommend Unbeelievable Health, including Nutritionist, Erin McCann Galvin, who explains that lack of sleep, poor diet, too little exercise and eating too much sugar (which causes bacteria growth) can all impact your immune system negatively.
And Nutritional Therapist, Sally Wisbey, suggests making sure you eat plenty of vitamin c and nutrient-rich colourful vegetables and fruit, including spinach, which contains zinc (which helps to combat viruses), as well as oats topped with zinc-rich nuts and seeds, and iron-rich foods like lentils. Erin also suggested adding in plain yogurt, which provides probiotics, garlic, and avoiding refined carbs such as bread and pasta, which turn to sugar in the body.
There are also a number of natural nutrients which have been shown in studies to have natural antibiotic and anti-viral properties, including bee propolis, elderberry, olive leaf and beta glucans. These ingredients have an impressive pedigree for supporting the immune system, yet are not usually found in a regular diet or multivitamin, however, they can all be found in Bee Prepared immune formula supplements, which Erin and Sally both recommend as a year round way to support natural defences. The capsules are suitable for most ages and may be opened into juices or yogurt for those who prefer not to swallow pills. Sally and Erin also both advise supplementing with vitamin D, especially in the darker months.
Finally, stress is another culprit at compromising your immune system by raising cortisol levels, which can cause inflammation and affect immunity as well. Managing your stress and anxiety levels through meditation, exercise, taking natural supplements or even reading can be helpful for your immune system. Both reading and spending time in nature have been shown to rapidly lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.