Here in New Zealand winter is just around the corner. In fact today I am listening to the wind whooshing round outside and you would think it was already here. Thankfully I am snuggled inside with the fire going……mmmmm cosy.
So before winter has us in her icy grip it’s a good time to think about boosting your immune system. If you watch any mainstream media you will notice that they are suggesting you get your flu vaccine now!! I bet you are wondering what you should do, especially since we now have swine flu to contend with as well.
Lets just take a look at some facts:
(1) If you have a healthy immune system you are unlikely to come down with a serious case of the flu and if you do get the flu you will be able to fight it off.
(2) Any vaccination that you receive this year will be made up of viruses that went around last year. The flu virus mutates from one season to the next and so no vaccination will keep you completely free from the flu.
So how do you boost your immune system? Firstly you need to be aware that 80% of your immune system is in your gut. If you don’t have a healthy digestive system then you won’t have a good immune system either. We are back to the same old thing; you’ve got to eat your veggies. Nope we are still not eating anywhere near enough fruit and veges every day. Try adding a salad to your lunch and add some extra fruit to your breakfast. Have an apple or banana for afternoon tea instead of a muffin. I just made a smoothie for breakfast with fruit and Spirulina.. its a great way to start the day! Another tip to improve your digestive health is to take a course of probiotics which also boosts your immunity so you get more bang for your buck!!
You can’t go past the humble vitamin c for all round health either. In fact we have our own “Back from the dead” story here in NZ with the Waikato farmer who was on death’s door with swine flu until his family insisted the hospital give him intravenous vitamin c. Not all vitamin C is created equal however, try an avoid calcium ascorbate and go for a natural vitamin c such as Acerola berry. ( Guess what? Eating fruit and veges boost your vitamin c intake too. Woohoo!) Most us mistakenly think we get plenty of vitamin c but we are wrong and scurvy.. YES scurvy has been making a comeback in Australia and New Zealand. Now if that doesn’t scare you into eating an apple right now nothing will!
Right….. so we are eating our fruit and veges, taking our vitamin c supplements and we have done a course of probiotic’s, what else can we do? Well there are some amazing immune boosting supplements on the market now. My all time favourite is Natures Way Systemwell. Why? Because it is packed with 33 different immune enhancing herbs and vitamins including olive leaf, Siberian Ginseng, zinc and selenium (those last two minerals are hugely deficient in NZ soils). It also works on all levels of your immune system: Epidermal, Respiratory, Digestive, Systemic, Circulatory, Cellular, and your Lymphatic system. Plus it works!!! It has never let me down, if I feel like I have the start of a bug coming on; feeling achy, scratchy throat, headache, I reach for the Systemwell and take three tablets. Generally that will knock it on the head but occasionally I may need to take another three on the same day. then back to the maintenance dose of one a day.
Washing your hands with plain soap and water is vitally important to keep you immunity up too. Why? because we don’t know how clean that money is we just touched ( hint: Not very!) or that door knob and lets not get into public toilets! Hand sanitizer is not required unless you cannot access water and soap. Antibacterial soap isn’t necessary either but that’s a whole blog in itself!
Author : Caitlin Grace is a Wellbeing Coach, Journey Therapist, Reiki practitioner, EFT and meditation coach.