Your immune system is your first line of defence against cold and flu so a great place to focus on. You can easily support your immune system naturally this winter with the help of Vitamin C, D, Zinc and Beta Glucans. The whole family can benefit, so I've included some child friendly tips too, just scroll to the end.
Beta Glucans 1,3/1,6 are derived from mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi and scientific studies show they increase the ability of white blood cells to fight infection when you come into contact with bacteria or viruses. Clinical studies consistently show that 250mg per day lowers infection rates significantly.
Probably most people associate Vitamin C rich foods with citrus fruit like oranges and lemons. However many vegetables and non-citrus fruits contain high doses of vitamin C as well. Eat more kiwis, peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. However, the best way to get a therapeutic dose is to supplement daily. Studies show that Vitamin C taken at 1000-2000mg per day shortens the duration of colds.
Zinc plays critical roles in the proper functioning of your immune system. Elderly people are especially prone to developing reduced immunity related to poor zinc nutrition. Eat more pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lentils and spinach and supplement 15mg per day.
A recent review of eleven studies including over 5500 people concluded that Vitamin D has a protective effect against respiratory tract infections. Add 800-2000IU per day for adults and at least 400IU for kids. To get a daily dose of 1000IU from diet alone you would need to eat 2-4 servings of salmon every day!! More on Vitamin D here>>
Make sure your kids are taking 400IU Vitamin D daily over winter. They come in handy drops so easy to add to water or directly onto their tongue.
A good quality kiddies Probiotic supplement can also help support immunity. Capsules can be opened and mixed into foods like yoghurt and fresh juice.
Anti-viral Elderberry is a really yummy tasting bug and germ fighter. Take at the first sign of symptoms to help shorten the duration of cold or flu. Make sure you buy a sugar free elderberry liquid such as Pukka or Sambucol Sugar Free.
Get in touch with me if you would like more help selecting the right supplements, as not all products stand up to scientific scrutiny.