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Building Your Immune System in Autumn

Hasn't it been a fantastic summer!  One of the best we can all remember in years.  It's good for body and soul, and we have certainly all had a good top up of that vital Vitamin D.  This fat soluble nutrient is an absolute foundation for good health and 90% of it comes from sunshine. It is one of the reasons we all tend to feel better in the summer months.

We are now officially in Autumn, and whilst the days are still warm, there is a marked chill in the air come the evening. This is the time when we need to be thinking more about our health in  preparation for the colder months.

There are some simple but really effective steps you can take for you and your family.

 

Reduce Stress

High stress levels have a negative impact on your immune system affecting cortisol levels, antibodies and T cells.   If you are stressed, you are far more likely to catch a cold. 

This change in seasons can be and feel a little stressful.  There's more to think about with after school clubs and the like.  And work levels can increase for many at work as well as home.  It is absolutely imperative that you build in time for rest and relaxation, and try to minimise your exposure, and reaction to stress. 

How  much time do you really take for yourself?  Now is a fantastic time to really give this some thought, and see if you can incorporate rest and relaxation regularly into your routine.  Even just 10 - 30mins a day sitting quietly, walking in nature or having a relaxing bath can make a world of difference for your health and immune system.     For the real power house of stress reduction, build in some meditation.  And we love yoga and tai chi as gentle ways to exercise AND reduce stress. Many say that don't have time for this sort of thing, but who has time to be ill and run down in the winter months?

 

Exercise Moderately But Not Too Much

30 minutes a day is ideal for most people.  It reduces stress hormones, helps your circulation and blood pressure, and helps maintain a healthy weight.   But too much exercise can have negative impact on the immune system.   Studies show that after extreme exercise, there is a higher chance of catching an infection for 72 hours.  So in the colder months especially, keep active, but don't overdo it!

 

The Morning Immune Boost

A fantastic way to support your immune system, as well as helping your digestion and liver is to start the day with a fresh lemon squeezed into warm water.  We love this all year round, and in the winter you can also add some fresh ginger if you wish.  This is such a simple strategy for good health.  Drink with a straw to protect your tooth enamel ideally.

 

"Stoptober"

When it comes to your immune system - excessive intake of cigarettes, alcohol and sugar are the biggest culprits for weakening your system.  If you have been thinking of stopping smoking, October is a fantastic month to do so, as there is so much help and support available with various campaigns.    We strongly recommend the Allen Carr method of books and clinics.  No patches required, and over the years many customers have been amazed how simple it is to stop smoking when you know how. 

Or for the non smokers, what about a month without alcohol or sugar? You'll be amazed how much better you feel after just a month.  And then you'll be inspired to keep going.

So give Stoptober a try, for your immune system and the incredible all round health benefits.

 

Clean Hands

This is such a simple step, but remembering to wash hands well after being in public places, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth habitually will vastly reduce your risks of catching winter colds and flu.  Simple, free, and effective!  In Ayurvedic medicine, it is an old practice to put a tiny bit of sesame oil at the base of the nostrils to prevent bacteria and viruses being inhaled if travelling on busy transport or going to events.  Any oil will probably work just as well, or even the summer herbal pollen barrier creams will do the trick. 

 

Fantastic Fresh Food!

Think of packing in the colours at this time of year for the biggest range of antioxidants.  If you can, buy organic, as this is known to have higher antioxidant levels.  Buy from your local farm shop of box scheme for better value on your organic produce than the supermarkets.

Dark green leafy vegetables pack real nutritional punch and should be included regularly, especially at this time of year.

And this is the time of year when some seasonal fruit is fantastic.   Natures is clever of course, and the seasonal jams and berries have a crucial role to play in preparing us for the colder season ahead. These days we have gone a bit mad with fruit with the 5 a day message, but remember that fruit is packed with sugar! So enjoy moderate amounts of seasonal fruit.  But it is not something to be going overboard with every day.   

Add herbs and spices liberally, especially garlic and turmeric.  If you don't like the taste of these, you can also add in supplement form.  Some might even choose to do both! Culinary quality is not the same as medicinal quality.

 

Keep Drinking Water

In the summer, we have natural tendency to drink more water.  But it is vitally important to continue this in the winter for the immune system benefits.  Simply switch to herbal teas if it is too cold for you to enjoy cold water.

 

What About Exercise when Ill?

Doctors generally agree that some mild exercise if symptoms are above the neck (eg runny nose etc) it can help speed healing.  Whereas below the neck symptoms (e.g. chest infection) are best healed with rest rather than exercise

 

What About Supplements?

Even the best organic fresh diet  can be supported with supplements.  And because our range is as you know 100% natural and additive free, this is immune system support that's really effective.

Going into the winter, Zell Oxygen is fantastic being packed with B vitamins, you can enjoy a couple of bottles to energise your system, or take a smaller amount every day.

The ever reliable vitamin C is good, and our totally natural, food state Acerola and Rosehips is the best way to enjoy vitamin C.

And for a natural multivitamin, our year on year top selling product Chlorella gives you all your key vitamins and minerals in a natural form.

For some people, especially those will a compromised immune system, adding a probiotic can be helpul, and there is nothing better on the market than our incredible Supergreen Probiotic.

If you do catch a cold or flu, get some Olive Leaf Extract into your system as early as possible.

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