With the first signs of flu season already appearing, we thought now would be a great time to take a look at some natural ways to boost immunity and prevent illness during the colder seasons, as well as provide some awesome natural remedies to get you and the family back on track if you do fall ill.
Echinaforce – Immune Support
We all know how difficult it can be to keep on top of your health, especially during winter. Used to prevent sickness, as well as to ease symptoms when sickness does occur, Echinaforce cold and flu remedies are a must-have for keeping you and the family healthy this winter. So what is it and how does it work?
Echinacea is a traditional herb known to help fight colds and flu by supporting the immune system. However, with so many Echinacea-based products on the market, it’s important to recognise that not all are the same. Research has shown that remedy effectiveness increases when herbs are at their freshest, which is why our Echinaforce cold and flu remedies are made using only freshly harvested Echinacea. Available in a hot drink syrup, sore throat spray, tablets and multi-purpose liquid, the Echinaforce range has the perfect remedy for everyone. Discover the benefits of fresh Echinacea purpea herb and root extracts within the A.Vogel Echinaforce® range here.
How your diet affects your immune system
For many people, the cooler months often mean switching out light and healthy food options for warmer, heartier meals that are high in carbs and maybe not so high in nutritional value. However, as long as you’re including a good variety of natural ingredients and utilise complex carbs rather than simple ones, this change in diet doesn’t have to be detrimental to your health. In fact, there are many ways you can maximise flavour whilst minimising unhealthy additives, one of the simplest of which is swapping out traditional salt for Herbamare seasoning salt. Made from a delicious combination of sea salt and organically grown herbs and veggies, Herbamare is the perfect way to include that salty flavour you love in a natural and healthy way.
In general, we should be consuming a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables daily. To get the most out of these servings, it’s important to include a variety of brightly coloured foods that comprise a range of nutritional benefits. So which foods are the best immunity boosters?
Which foods boost the immune system?
Garlic contains allicin, an active component known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Owing to the inclusion of these properties, it is suggested that garlic is a really great way to supress colds and reduce their severity. Garlic is also known to encourage healthy gut flora, which essentially assists the body to remove unhealthy toxins and bacteria that could make you sick. Although fresh garlic is of course the best way to utilise this fantastic vegetable, opting for a supplement can still produce some of the same great health benefits.
Turmeric has received much attention in recent months, and when you take a look at the health benefits, it’s no secret as to why. Recently being recognised as a ‘superfood’, turmeric contains high levels of antioxidants and provides a natural anti-inflammatory for those who consume it. Effective at removing toxins from the body, turmeric is also a great way to reduce susceptibility to colds and flu.
Containing high levels of vitamin C, dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are also really great at giving your immune system that boost for winter. As vitamin C is known for its ability to reduce the duration of a cold, consuming these sorts of foods consistently will help to increase your chances of staying healthy. Although the word ‘salad’ doesn’t normally inspire or excite, creating your own amazing salad with a good variety of colours and textures can be a really simple way to include leafy greens in your diet. For those who like a little crunch, Biosnacky from A. Vogel can allow you to cultivate your own fresh and crunchy shoots and sprouts from the comfort of your own home!
But fruit and veg isn’t the only important consideration when planning out a healthy and balanced diet. Although many people try to limit (or completely avoid) carbohydrate intake, complex carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and oats as well as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are incredibly beneficial to your overall health. In addition to helping you feel fuller for longer, complex carbs also provide a healthy serving of dietary fibre and vitamin B. More than this, these types of carbs are also broken down more slowly and are therefore able to assist with lowering blood sugar levels.
Including additional protein in your meal plan is another good way to keep your immune system up to scratch during the cooler months, so try incorporating as many plant-based proteins into your diet as you can.
Will sleep help my immune system?
As research suggests a direct correlation between our immune systems and sleep cycles, it makes sense that getting a restful sleep can have a big impact on overall health. With even a small amount of lost sleep being linked to a negative immune system response, it’s so important that we allow ourselves to get a decent amount of sleep in order to prevent cold and flu.
Why exercise boosts your immune protection
With the cooler months tending to make us a little less motivated, it’s no surprise that many of us drop off the band wagon come winter time. Whilst it definitely gets more difficult to commit to an exercise schedule, winter may actually be the most important time to keep up your regular routine. Consistent exercise aids circulation, which essentially assists immune cells to travel around the body in search of pathogens (microorganisms that can cause disease). Just as importantly, regular and varied exercise also encourages endorphin production in your brain, meaning a healthier mind and a happier mind state.
Other top tips to staying healthy this winter
- Wash your hands religiously
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take time to relax and control stress levels
- Avoid alcohol & smoking
- Keep warm!