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    Boosting The Immune System

    Following on from my last blog post where I spoke about the effects of taking long-term medication and potential nutrient deficiencies for which I recommended taking a good multivitamin and mineral supplement as a sensible way of preventing this issue. Taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement over the coming winter months is also a good way to support the immune system, which ties in well with this month’s topic of looking at ways to ‘boost the immune system’. The Immune System is very complex and has evolved to protect us against viruses, bacteria and parasites and its effectiveness can be positively influenced by a variety of factors including adequate sleep, moderate exercise, stress management, and a nutrient rich diet. Seasonal weather changes and shifts in recent temperatures have allowed viruses to flourish leading to increased reports of colds. Many of us may end up catching a cold over the next few months by coming into contact with potentially over two hundred easy-to-catch common cold viruses. My household has already been affected, including my daughter and myself, although I adapted our diet accordingly and took additional supplements (see a list of recommendations below), which helped to reduce the severity and length of the cold. Luckily my daughter is not a ‘fussy eater’ and enjoys her food, and regularly takes a multivitamin supplement. However, many children are ‘selective eaters’ which may increase their risk of nutrient deficiencies, and risk of catching a cold. Taking a good multivitamin may be helpful to support healthy growth and the immune system. The NHS recommends that: ‘All children aged six months to five years should be given a supplement containing vitamins A, C & D’

    Helping to keep your immune system stay strong by:

    1. Consuming a nutrient dense diet that includes whole foods such as whole grains, lentils, beans, lean meats, fresh fish, pulses, fermented foods, probiotic foods, herbs and spices, nuts, seeds and a variety of fruits and vegetables, and folate rich green leafy vegetables.
    2. Managing stress through regular exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or mind-body disciplines such as yoga
    3. Reducing empty calorie foods including sugar, refined starches, processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol

    Suggested Supplements to Help Boost Your Immune System

    Taking a supplement may potentially serve to reduce both the severity and the duration of a cold, as well as reducing the risks of catching one in the first place. The recommended supplements below can be taken singularly or all together for additional support.
    • Solgar Vitamin D 2200iu 50 - Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with an increased susceptibility to infection
    • Highfield Immune plus – Containing Vitamin C, and Zinc which are associated with immune health, the anti-viral Elderberry and the antimicrobial olive leaf extract
    • Viridian Echinacea tincture - Echinacea is an anti-viral that has shown to be effective against the common cold, influenza and herpes virus, and urogenital infections. Research has demonstrated that Echinacea reduces severity of cold symptoms, time between infections, and increased the speed of recovery.
    • For children - Sambucol Original – A liquid formula that contains flavonoids (natural antioxidants) with added Vitamin C, Zinc and Propolis, which have been found to help maintain a healthy immune system.

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