Immune Boosting Tips
Anyone who has lately succumbed to the misery of a mountainous cold or monumental bout of flu will be all too eager to avoid such a calamity ever happening again.
Colds or flu can seriously hamper your ability to enjoy life, and indeed it is now scientifically established that a cold can stop your brain working as well as usual. Mood rating, reaction times, verbal reasoning and language processing are all officially undermined as your head is filled with cotton wool, your throat rasps painfully, and you alternately burn and freeze your way through the day.
So, how to avoid making it through to spring with your nasal passages untrammelled?
The human immune system is quite amazing, constantly vigilant in protecting us from infection. It works in synch with the rest of your body, though, so it will respond to both positive and negative lifestyle influences. This means you are in control of many factors that can support better immune function.
Eat up: More than 70% of your immune cells live in your gut, so a happy digestive tract makes for better immune function. Get plenty of vitamin C through fresh fruit and veg like oranges, strawberries and broccoli. This nutrient contributes to normal function of the immune system. Sources of immune-supporting vitamin D tend to come from fortified foods, or a supplement can be taken. Include some zinc in your supplement programme, as this also contributes to normal immune function.
Drink up: Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol and top up with green tea, which increases your supply of ‘regulatory’ immune cells.
Get out: Natural light is good for your immune system, and interaction with nature promotes good mental health; whilst even a little daylight exposure helps set a healthy circadian rhythm that will ensure you sleep well – another immune-boosting tactic! The risk of catching a cold is more than treble for those who slept less than 7 hours per night, when compared to those who sleep for 8 hours or more.
Calm down: Stress suppresses the formation of new immune cells and how long they spend circulating the body. This will inhibit the manufacturing of new antibodies in response to an infectious agent.
Get natural: Nature provides us with Echinacea purpurea, which has been shown to inhibit a swathe of unpleasant respiratory viruses, including rhinoviruses, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus types 3 and 11, and herpes simplex virus. Consider A.Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea Drops and Tablets, a traditional herbal remedy used for the symptomatic relief of colds, influenza type infections and similar upper respiratory tract conditions.
Echinaforce starts at £4.50 and is available from Holland & Barrett, Boots, and independent health stores and pharmacies nationwide. For more info visit avogel.co.uk or call their Helpline on 0845 608 5858.
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