Taking control of one’s own health is a very empowering thing. As viruses spread at an alarming rate around the globe and people everywhere are having to take time off work and are brought down by colds and flu multiple times a year, it’s really important to keep your immune system strong and healthy. If you do succumb to a virus, the doctor can do very little to help. However, there is much you can do for yourself, both to prevent and cure. Besides keeping yourself as fit and healthy as possible through exercise and good nutrition, the remedies below, as prescribed by nutritionist Fleur Borrelli, can do much to help.
(For more info on any of the supplements or to order just click on the name.)
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms below, it may be a sign that your immune system needs a little help:
- Frequent colds and sore throats
- Slow recovery
- Inability to shift a virus
- Fatigue or chronic fatigue
- Lack of get up and go
- Sugar cravings
- Slow wound healing
Your immune system can be challenged during the winter months due to the darker days and fewer opportunities to be outside. Fortunately help is at hand with the many natural remedies that contain endless health giving properties. Use them alongside a healthy diet to combat the coughs and colds of the season.
1. Beta Glucans
Beta glucans are complex fibres from the cell walls of plants, fungi, yeasts and bacteria. Take them throughout winter as a preventative measure to help boost your own natural immunity and to kick start the body’s own defence systems. Alternatively use them when you feel the first stirrings of an upper –respiratory tract infection.
2. Pelargonium Sidoides
Pelargonium Sidoides, an evergreen perennial plant indigenous to South Africa, is a traditional herbal medicinal product. There are a number of active polyphenol compounds in the extract including coumarins, flavonoids and tannins, with anti-bacterial and immune-modulatory effects. Use it to help combat some of the symptoms associated with an upper-respiratory tract infection such as a blocked or runny nose or sore throat. Unlike antibiotics, bacteria do not become resistant to it and it can fight viruses too.
Lactoferrin is an immune complex that is produced naturally in mother’s milk. It helps to maintain a proper level of “good” bacteria in the intestinal tract, while controlling the number of “bad” bacteria. Because of its versatility, lactoferrin can also be used as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. It may also play an important role in the support of allergic disorders such as asthma, rhinitis and atopic dermatitis due to its ability to reduce oxidative-stress induced hypersensitivity.
Resveratrol is polyphenolic compound found in purple grapes, red wine and some berries. It improves energy levels by increasing energy production in cells and decreasing the number of free-radicals produced in the process. It also helps to support a healthy body composition by encouraging the breakdown of fat for energy. It might even increase longevity by improving the body’s metabolism, defence and repair processes. Take it through the winter to significantly boost your immune system and may be even to help burn some of those extra calories.
Glynis- Resveratrol has the added benefit of being one of the best anti-ageing supplements there are. I use this in my daily regime.
5. Reduced Glutathione
Glutathione, an antioxidant, can be found in all living organisms and cells of the body. In fact the glutathione antioxidant system is one of the best defence mechanisms we have against free radical effect. Take it in the reduced form if you wish to stimulate your immune system to protect against viral infections and help shift some of the toxicity that has built up over the Christmas period. With age, illness, stress, fatigue and physical exertion, your body’s own production of glutathione can be inadequate.
By using natural agents to support your immune health, eating a diet rich in fresh whole foods and drinking plenty of water you will sail through winter.
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after a bit of reading round I think my porridge oats made with cows milk and purple grapes ticks three boxes – I’m pleased with that
The Pelargonium Sidoides looks a useful addition – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12807337 impressed me. Will try that if the oregano oil fails
Thank you to Fleur as well