Want free nutrition tips to put into practice? Sign Up

Is Your Body Ready to Fight Infection?

01 Oct 2017

Winter is Coming...and with it often some nasty bugs....

Did anyone else blink and miss summer?!!  Yeah me too!  Potentially then thoughts of boosting our immune systems have been flung to the forefront of our minds??   Well the media scare stories over the threat of “winter flu" for those in vulnerable groups may well cause a bit of panic, whether the threat turns out to be real or not, the key is to ensure that your immune system is in tip top condition, so here are some tips for supporting immunity and fighting any kind of infection.

Optimise your vitamin D levels: Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in the UK, and has been linked with all kinds of health problems including type I diabetes, autoimmune disorders, common cancers, hypertension and not least influenza. In fact, the seasonality of flu is most likely linked to vitamin D deficiency, rather than the flu virus itself. Try 2000IU of active vitamin D3 combined with soy isoflavones daily to boost your blood levels - soy isoflavones may increase the immunostimulatory activity of vitamin D.  Companies like Cytoplan, Nutri, Biocare and Biotics Research all have D3 products and they can be found on the web or all under one roof at The Natural Dispensary

Wash your hands: Yes really something so simple, yet scarily how many people do I see these days not doing it!  urghhh.  Washing your hands regularly is crucial and will help to prevent a virus from spreading to your mouth, nose and other people!   If you want to be super efficient you can use the 6 step process.

WHO 6 step handwashing

Get enough sleep: Funny isn't it how sleep comes up for everything?!  Logically though this is the time that the body carries out it's repair and recovery so it is vital that we get enough.  Fatigue will make it harder to fight infection, so make sure you are getting enough rest!  Think about how well does your phone work if you only ever charge 20% of the battery??

Consume more garlic: Perhaps the vampires we know as stories were actually people with nasty colds and that's where the garlic legends started?!!  With antiviral, antibacterial and potent immune-enhancing properties, eating raw garlic is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, particularly because, unlike antibiotics, resistance doesn’t build up. If you don’t like the thought of eating lots of raw garlic, why not try an enterically-coated garlic capsule that will dissolve in the intestine rather than the stomach – preventing that garlic breath! 

vampire and garlic

Cope naturally with viruses: An alternative solution to pharmaceutical antiviral medications is to use natural and safe agents that have been around since...well probably for longer than us!  Certain types of fatty acids and their glycerol esters fit into this category, and one such fatty acid ester is Monolaurin, a fatty acid ester of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid found in coconut oil. When we read the studies they tell us it is effective against a range of viruses and Monolaurin also has immune-enhancing effects. Well-tolerated even at dosages of 600mg per day for 2 weeks, Monolaurin can help to safely and effectively eradicate viruses without harmful side effects, worry or resistance.   Personally rather than consuming lots of supplements I just cook with coconut oil, and sometimes take an extra teaspoonful of it raw!

More vitamin C: Vitamin C is one of the most researched nutrients for boosting the immune system. During active infections such as flu, vitamin C can be utilised by the white blood cells at a significantly higher rate than normal. Studies have shown that a minimum of 1000mg of vitamin C per day can lessen the duration and severity of a viral infection.   Using a variety of berries (I buy mine frozen from the Supermarket if I've not managed to freeze enough myself during season) is one way to keep the vitamin C and other antioxidant levels up.  The darker the colour of fruits often the more potent they are.

Following these simple principles can help to keep your immune system in tip top condition and will help to keep your body ready to fight any infection that may come your way! 

Join me next month as I'll be talking about the 'Winter Blues' and how to deal with them from a more natural perspective.