Support your Immune System this Winter
Winter is in full swing, and with it comes the constant barrage of bugs and infections going around. It seems like everyone is fighting something off, and you can’t get on a train or a bus without being bombarded with coughs and sneezes from all directions. This is the time of year when we really need to look after our health and support our immune system to ensure we don’t come down with whatever illnesses are doing the rounds.
Our immune system is constantly working to stop and remove pathogens from bacteria to environmental toxins. Our innate immune system contains various immune cells which help to neutralize infections quickly, and our adaptive immune system learns how to respond to new pathogens it encounters to mount an effective response. These two systems work together, and when firing on all cylinders they defend and protect us. However, our immunity can be compromised due to a range of factors, which can leave us open to infections, and feeling very run down. Here are our top ways to support your immune system to ensure its working correctly…
Support your Immune System:
- Many diet and lifestyle factors can suppress our immune function: excess alcohol, high refined sugar and processed food diets can affect our immunity and open our bodies up to infection.
- Chronic stress has been shown to suppress the immune system via adrenaline and cortisol release. Stress management techniques like yoga, meditation and self-care practices can help to manage sources of stress.
- Good quality, restorative sleep is vital for our immune health. Aim for 7-9 hours of deep restful sleep per night.
- Support your gut. A large portion of our immune system is housed within our gut, so if this is compromised it can affect our immunity and leave us open to infections. Eat a wide variety of whole plant foods, fermented foods and check out our symbiotic range for a little extra gut support.
- Many herbs and foods are well researched and show immune supporting benefits, read on to find out our favourite herbal supplements for supporting the immune system.
Top Herbs and Foods for Immune Support:
- Shiitake mushroom: Shiitake, like most medicinal mushrooms is an excellent choice for immune support. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Regular shiitake consumption has been shown to improve immunity and the production of immune cells.
- Garlic: Garlic is anti-microbial due to its sulphur content, and contains a compound called Allicin which helps to kill micro-organisms responsible for many infections including the common cold.
- Oregano: Oregano contains an active compound Carvacrol which has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. It is also rich in anti-oxidants and a great immune system supporter.
- Ginger: Ginger is antimicrobial, defending against bacteria and fungus, making it a key immune supporting food. It is also an excellent decongestant.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is antiviral and antibacterial and supports the body’s production of white blood cells, which help us to fight infection.
- Turmeric: Of course turmeric made the list- what isn’t it good for?! It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that help to fight off infections.
Our Candi-X herbal supplements contain many of the above herbs and foods is a great choice this time of year to support your defence and ensure your immune system is functioning correctly. A few small lifestyle and diet changes, and adding in some extra support from organic herbal supplements can help to ensure you get through the season in good health.