After relaxing and sunny holidays, we all go back to our daily routine. Work, challenges, kids back to school with cloudy weather can often make us feel extremely stressed. This change of seasons and routine can often be characterized by low spirits, lack of motivation, and low energy reaching a peak during the winter months. As if we didn’t have enough with the blues, winter times also come back with flu and colds epidemics and other viral and bacterial illnesses. There is evidence that stress affects all our cells and eventually our immune response, therefore we all rush for a cure, spending again and again on over-the-counter medications for cold and flu and any natural mood-lifters to help alleviate blues and cold symptoms. Is there any connection between low energy levels and untreatable colds and flu? Maybe it’s time to stop relying only on symptom-suppressing drugs and really deal with the underlying cause that makes us susceptible to these conditions.
The first health guideline should definitely be to keep our immune system strong and healthy in order to function better and protect us from environmental assaults and psychological stress.
To function well, we all require balance and harmony, isn’t it? Natural alternative therapies offer a great option to deal with a weak immune response and the harmful microorganisms that may compromise our body’s natural defences. The first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle and adopt healthy-living strategies starting with a balanced diet with the right nutrients and the right amounts. Indeed, as a nutritionist I always insist on the fact that a proper diet during the winter months is key to staying healthy in order to boost our immune system, stave off colds and flu and generally help beat those winter blues. However, we all need sometimes extra sleep, extra time, extra nutrition and extra vitamins! Are dietary supplements a good way to help boost our defences?
Prevent deficiencies with Multivitamins
Immunity levels decrease dramatically if the right quantities and varieties of essential nutrients are not received, and a healthy immune system is necessary to help boost your overall health and energy levels. Multivitamins
supplements are a good way of ensuring that nutritional requirements are met, especially during periods of stress and low temperatures, and when poor food choices are most commonly made, resulting in weaker immune function. Taking vitamin supplements can be a helpful and easy way to absorb the vitamin into the body if quality or particular foods are not available and there is clinical evidence that some vitamins have more immune protection power than others. Now we also know some herbs offer powerful compounds loaded with natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Choosing multivitamins combined with specific herb extracts might be your best option to help strengthen your immune response.
is a unique combination of Antioxidant Vitamins with Resveratrol, Mixed Berries and Carotenoids, Pine Bark Extract CoQ10 & Citrus Bioflavanoids. HealthAid Wintervit
combines Maitake Mushroom, Astragalus & Quercetin researched for their natural with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Wintervit also provides essential vitamins with the added Benefits of Bee Propolis, loaded with antioxidants and naturally rich in amino acids, vitamins & enzymes to help strengthen the immune system. HealthAid ZincoVit®-C tablets
are specially formulated to provide all the richness and beneficial properties of Zinc, Vitamin C and Propolis, three powerful ingredients in one pleasant tasting lozenge to help boost the immune system and maintain a healthy inflammatory response to combat allergies. The three supplements are ideal for all year round, especially in the winter when the body needs support during the cold months but if you are looking for maximum protection during the changing seasons and in times of stress and fatigue, do not hesitate to give your health this boost.
Boost Immunity and Beat Fatigue with essential vitamins
Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C and E
play a major role in protecting our cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin C also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. As the body can’t store this water soluble vitamin, we should get enough vitamin C from our diet. However, unless we can eat every day at least five servings of fresh fruits and high quality vegetables, we may all need to take a supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits. Zincovit, Betaimmune
supplements contain Vitamin A,C,E with Zinc, all vital nutrients that contribute to a healthy immune response and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. HealthAid supplements offer Vitamin C buffered with rosehip and acerola which are natural forms of ascorbate (instead of synthetic ascorbate) so it does not irritate the stomach and has the added benefit of quicker absorption and longer retention in the immune system, which makes it an ideal vitamin C supplement for compromised immunity.
The formulas also provide healthy amounts of Vitamin D3, the most effective and absorbable form of vitamin D and Co-enzyme Q10.
is another vital vitamin that plays a vital role in strengthening immune function and reducing inflammation. Generally, vitamin D absorbs into the body from sunlight and most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need by eating a healthy balanced diet and by getting some summer sun. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, exposure to sunlight is definitely the most efficient way to boost vitamin D as more than 90% of vitamin D requirements come from exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. However, during winter months in the UK, there is not enough UVB for vitamin D synthesis. Unless people achieve a sufficient supply of vitamin D in the summer that should keep healthy levels in winter, some groups of people such as pregnant women, young children, people aged 65 years and over, and people not exposed too much sun should take a daily supplement according to NHS.
A research study funded by the Danish Medical Research indicates that vitamin D is involved in the activation of the T cells of the immune system. Dr Marina Rode von Essen and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen carried out this research and believe that vitamin D plays a key role in boosting the immune response.
is a crucial enzyme found in food in small amounts but the body naturally synthesizes the vast majority of it. Co-factor for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate ATP, main form of energy in the body; this crucial enzyme plays therefore an important role in cellular energy-production. However, a lot of people may not be making enough or are low in this important antioxidant nutrient. Genetic constitution, oxidative stress and the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can block normal Coq10 production. If you feel constantly tired and especially in winter time, a Coq10 supplement can help you to boost your energy and reduce fatigue.
Activate defences with potent herbs extracts
provides mixed berries, carotenoids and an interesting amount of Pine Bark extract which contains a blend of active bioflavonoids, powerful antioxidants also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Pine Bark extract from the bark of French maritime pineis is especially rich in proanthocyanidins, a specific class of bioflavonoids which are believed to support the body's defenses and may have natural anti-inflammatory effects. Proanthocyanidins can be found in many plants such as bilberry, cranberry and green tea but most notably in pine bark and grape seed. Preliminary research has shown that proanthocyanidins contained in Pine Bark “may help strengthen blood capillaries and consequently improving blood flow, which is crucial to maintain a healthy blood circulation, helping reduce leg pain and heaviness in people with circulation problem”.
in the formulas is a powerful nutritious substance produced by the bees, believed to have powerful health benefits and help with sores and infections caused by bacteria and viruses; therefore working synergistically with other antioxidants and antiviral substances.
s called an “adaptogen” herb, meaning it may help protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress. Astragalus is believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and may stimulate the immune system, suggesting that it may help prevent colds.
Maitake mushrooms primarily grow in the northeastern parts of Japan and the United States, and is credited by traditional Chinese medicine to be able to improve immunity, according to Nicholas Perricone, MD. This is due to its content of beta-glucan, which is a polysaccharide compound that may enhance the immune response by activating macrophage cells, natural killer cells and T-cells. These cells play an important role in building general immunity and preventing free radicals from harming the body's systems.
Remind some supplements can interact with certain medications and conditions, it is always recommended to consult your doctor before taking them.
Nutritionist, R&D coordinator