5 Immunity Boosters for Winter

5 Immunity Boosters for Winter

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Flu season is here early with almost 7,000 influenza cases diagnosed so far this year, a rise of about 1,000 since the same period in 2016.[i]

It’s not too late to start boosting your immune system. Here are some surprising ways to bolster your defenses against colds and flu this season.

  1. Matcha

Matcha is a powdered form of green tea that uses the fresh leaf tips, and has the same immune-boosting ingredients as green tea, but more concentrated. It is packed with antioxidants and is naturally  caffeinated so it could even help you kick the coffee addiction!

Enjoy this immune booster as a warm tea or milky drink, or add it to your morning smoothie or muesli.

  1. Ginger

Ginger has long been a popular natural remedy for colds and the flu. It has been reported that ginger or its extracts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that are beneficial to the overall support of the immune system. One particular study found that the oil of ginger influences the immune response, and consequently may exert positive effects in a number of clinical conditions, including chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases[ii]. Ginger can be added alongside lemon and natural honey as a tasty, warm remedy during the winter months.

  1. Ubiquinol

Ubiquinol, the more easily absorbed form of Coenzyme Q10, plays a vital role in boosting the immune system and may get your body ready for the winter cold and flu season. Our immune system need lots of energy to do its job. Ubiquinol helps to power cells to provide ample energy for your immune cells. It also acts like powerful sponge to soak up damaging free radicals and oxidants. Japanese research found Ubiquinol cleans up oxidants causing cellular damage and allows your body to repair and restore health.[iii]

  1. Tumeric

Curcumin, a compound found in Turmeric, is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is backed by numerous studies.[iv],[v],[vi] A study, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal found curcumin has remarkable antioxidant activity, and it has been found to be an excellent free radical scavenger.[vii] However, curcumin can be difficult to absorb in food. To get the best curcumin absorption, fry your turmeric in a healthy fat to protect it against stomach acid before full digestion. As an idea, you can add it to cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables or even in a vegetable frittata.

  1. The Sun

Vitamin D, sometimes referred to as ‘The sunshine vitamin’, has an increasingly expanding body of research behind it, which highlights its benefits in helping to regulate and support healthy immune function. Getting the right amount of sunshine is the healthiest and most efficient way to get a dose of Vitamin D, so use the excuse of improving your immunity to take some time out, put on your favourite pair of sunglasses and a little SPF, and enjoy the sunshine. Just remember not stay out in the sun too long to avoid getting sunburnt.

 

Please Note: Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

 

References
[i] http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/23/thousands-australians-diagnosed-influenza-already-2017
[ii] Zhou H-l, Deng Y-m and Xie Q-m. The modulatory effects of the volatile oil of ginger on the cellular immune response in vitro and in vivo in mice. J Ethnopharm 2006;105:301-305.
[iii]  K. Hosoe, et. al., Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 47 (2007) 19–28
[iv]  Gupta SC, Patchva S, Koh W, et al. Discovery of curcumin, a component of the golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2012;39(3):283-299
[v] Sahebkar A. Are curcuminoids effective c-reative protein-lowering agents in clinical practice? Evidence from a meta-analysis. Phytother Res 2013 [Epub ahead of print].
[vi] Aggarwal B, Harikumar K Potential. Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009; 41(1): 40–59.
[vii]  Nimse, SB, 2015. Free radicals, natural antioxidants, and their reaction mechanisms. Royal Society of Chemistry, [Online]. 35, 27986–28006. Available at: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2015/ra/c4ra13315c [Accessed 24 April 2017].

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