Whether you are needing to ward off a cold, or simply want to turn your immune defences up a notch for winter, Patrick shares some great tips for boosting your immune system. It really is as simple as one, two, three.
- Make sure your diet is rich in immune-boosting nutrients.
This includes foods rich in antioxidants, such as sweet potatoes, apricots and carrots for Vitamin A; berries, kiwis and green leafy vegetables for Vitamin C; avocados, nuts and seeds for Vitamin E; fish and pumpkin seeds for Zinc and broccoli and Brazil nuts for selenium. Focusing on creating a varied diet will also ensure you are getting a wide range of nutrients – not just vitamins and minerals, but also powerful immune-boosting phytochemicals such as flavonoids, found in berries, and lycopene, found in tomatoes. To rid yourself of any potential lack of nutrients that may compromise your immunity, Patrick recommends taking a daily multivitamin. Other immune-friendly nutrients that will help keep your immune system strong include the herbs echinacea and cat’s claw, anthocyanidins from berries and black elderberry extracts. Some Vitamin C supplements contain combinations of these.
- Don’t just add in the good, take out the bad.
This includes removing refined or processed foods and anything loaded with sugar or additives, as these suppress immunity. Instead of fizzy drinks, drink water to flush out toxins and maintain healthy hydration levels which play an important role in protecting immunity. Also, check for any possible allergens, which can weaken the immune system. Patrick recommends avoiding cow’s milk, or dairy altogether, and taking time out to rest when suffering from a cold.
- Top it up with probiotics.
If you are recovering from an illness and have been on of antibiotics, it is possible that your gut flora – your body’s natural defence force of bacteria – may be disturbed. This undermines your immune system. Taking a daily ‘probiotic’ supplement for a month or so will replenish these levels of healthy bacteria. Probiotics work by helping out existing gut bacteria, and reinforcing the body’s immune defences. They can halve the recovery time from an illness or infection, and should be taken alongside, if not instead of, antibiotics. Although supplements are a more direct way to boost your defences, some yoghurts have these bacteria too
PATRICK HOLFORD IMMUNE C® provides a unique combination of herbal ingredients including Echinacea, Black Elderberry, Bilberry and Ginger, as well as Vitamin C and Zinc that are essential for everyday immune system nutrition.