Pam suggests taking proactive steps to enhance your body’s resistance with some natural immunity supporters and some simple lifestyle habits.
In the throes of this winter, Pam gives a timely reminder of how to help support your immune system, which protects you and your family against coughs, colds and flu.
1. Eat Well
Build your body’s resistance with a healthy, well-balanced diet. Pam suggests the following nutrients for an immune-friendly cold fighting diet.
- Betacarotene – found in colourful vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots, squash and broccoli
- Vitamin C – kiwi fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries
- Zinc – pepitas, oysters and other seafood, eggs and lean red meat
- Protein – fish, free range eggs, tofu, beans and legumes
2. Cut down on the ‘vitamin robbers’
The so-called ‘vitamin robbers’ include alcohol, sugar and refined foods such as white flour products, as these foods can affect proper immune function, leaving you more prone to cold and flu. Reduce dairy foods as these may encourage the production of mucus for some people.
3. Combat a cough with one of nature’s best kept secrets!
No one likes it when their loved one suffers from a nasty cough, and at no time is this more apparent than when you are trying to sleep! Pam says Blackmores new Cough Combat™ is a natural alternative suitable for the whole family. Derived from ivy leaves, Blackmores Cough Combat™ helps relieve productive coughs by helping to promote expectoration and thin and loosen mucus. The great tasting formula is sugar free and can be used in children from 2 years and for children from six months after consulting a healthcare professional.
4. Sooth a sore throat
Herbal throat lozenges may help to soothe a sore throat, says Pam. Using a lozenge that contains echinacea may help to relieve inflammation and improve resistance to infection.
Pam also recommends a hot lemon and ginger drink to soothe a sore throat. Her personal recipe: to a mug of hot water add the juice of half a lemon and add a little peel (where the antiseptic oils are), also add honey and lots of fresh ginger.
5. Amazing Andrographis
Pam believes that a prime herbal remedy for colds and flu is andrographis which has traditionally been used to help relieve fever, colds and sore throats. Andrographis is a traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) herb and it is also used in traditional medicine systems in countries such as China and Korea.
6. Help from herbs
Another helpful herb that has stood the test of time is echinacea. Pam says it is known to have a variety of actions on the immune system including antibacterial and antiviral properties. Studies suggest echinacea may shorten the duration and improve recovery time of colds.
7. Get a good night’s sleep
According to Pam, sleeping well may also help to keep your immune function at its best during the winter months. Research suggests if you’re not getting enough sleep, or your sleep is of poor quality, you may be more susceptible to the common cold.
To help improve your sleep, Pam recommends trying going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Also ensure your room is dark, quiet, not too hot and technology free. She also says that a supplement containing extracts of valerian, along with lemon balm and magnesium can help achieve a restful, restorative and quality sleep.
8. Stress less
When life is busy and we’re under prolonged periods of stress, your immune function can start to suffer. To help reduce your stress and maintain your immunity, Pam suggests making time for relaxation and activities you enjoy. Regular exercise, meditation and yoga are all great stress relievers. And there’s nothing like losing yourself in a good book while sipping a cup of herbal tea to keep stress at bay.
9. Day & night
Looking for a natural alternative to over-the-counter cold and flu medications? Blackmores Cold & Flu Day/Night helps to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu such as cough, blocked nose, headaches, body aches and pains. It supports the immune system which fights cold and flu.
The unique day/night formula provides symptom relief during the day and calming relief at night to help promote sleep.
10. Sunshine or supplement
Darker, shorter days are synonymous with winter and as such, most of us don’t seem to get enough sunshine. Sun exposure is needed for the manufacture of vitamin D, an important nutrient for healthy immune function. Pam says low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of common cold and upper respiratory tract infections. If you can’t get outside and catch the suns rays, a vitamin D supplement can be beneficial.
References available on request