Boost your winter immunity

Boost your winter immunity

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As the days get shorter and as temperatures drop, your immune system needs to stay strong to fend off coughs, colds and sniffles.

More than 200 viruses can cause a common cold and the average Aussie catches two to four colds each year.[1] Around 300,000 visits to GPs each year are made by Australians with the flu, says the Influenza Specialist Group.[2]

Here are some key things to consider, to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape:

Go Green: Leafy green veggies are nature’s way of boosting your immunity. Spinach, kale, bok choy and broccoli contain phytonutrients that heighten immune system activity. These vegetables are also rich in vitamin C that supports immune health.

Move It: A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found people who exercise at least five days a week spend 43 per cent fewer days with upper-respiratory infections.[3] Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity a day. Exercise helps blood flow and so keeps immune cells circulating throughout our body.

Use Antioxidants: Antioxidants help reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Ubiquinol, the active and more bioavailable form of CoQ10, is a potent antioxidant that helps our heart[4] and liver health[5] and provides us with energy. You can get Ubiquinol from foods like spinach and tuna, but you would need a very high level to feel the benefits, so try Ubiquinol capsule supplements instead, from leading Australian supplement brands.

Use Your Mind: Use mind power to cut your odds of getting a cold by 40 to 50 per cent. A University of Wisconsin study found people who used mindfulness techniques were sick less often and needed less time off work during the cold and flu season.[6]

Reduce Sugar: Did you know that when you have sugar your infection-fighting white blood cells become weaker? And your immune system is less effective for several hours after you indulge in sweet treats.[7] So, curb your sweet tooth this winter to stay fighting fit.

Sleep Matters: Don’t under-estimate the healing effects of a good night’s sleep. A study at Carnegie Mellon University published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found when you average less than seven hours sleep a night you could be almost three times more likely to get a cold than people who get at least eight hours of sleep.[8]

Speak to your healthcare practitioner before supplementing with Ubiquinol and CoQ10 supplements.

References

[1] Colds and flu statistics, Health Direct, www.healthdirect.gov.au/colds-and-flu-statistics
[2] Influenza Fast Facts, Influenza Specialist Group and Newall A et al Economic report into the cost of influenza to the Australia health system. March 2007 www.isg.org.au/index.php/clinical-information/influenza-fast-facts-/
[3] Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults, British Journal of Sports Medicine Volume 45, Issue 12 http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/12/987
[4] Coenzyme Q10, University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10
[5] Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2015 July 9:1-8. http://healthandscience.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=623:supplements-of-q10-may-help-people-with-liver-disease&catid=20&Itemid=198&lang=en
[6] Exercise, Meditation Can Fight Cold, Flu Symptoms, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison http://www.med.wisc.edu/news-events/exercise-meditation-can-fight-cold-flu-symptoms/38221
[7] Effects of Sugar, Salt and Distilled Water on White Blood Cells and Platelet Cells, Journal of Tumor, Vol 4. No 1 (2016). http://www.ghrnet.org/index.php/JT/article/view/1340/1795
[8] Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold, Sheldon Cohen et al, Archives of Internal Medicine 2009, Jan 12: 169(1): 62-67 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629403/

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