As we start to embrace the shift into the cooler days of autumn, our attention turns to preparing for the winter ahead. We may not be squirrels gathering nuts, but we can stockpile nutrients and goodness to help us stay healthy in the season to come.
Here are six tips to help boost your immunity before winter arrives:
Invest in the building blocks of good health
Vitamins and minerals are the foundation of good health - without the proper balance of nutrients, our immune systems can’t keep up. Pay special attention to your potential needs for zinc, selenium, iodine, and Vitamins A and C.
Try to eat more nuts and seeds, seaweed, fresh fruits, berries and brightly coloured root veggies; they’re all great sources of these nutrients.
Keep up the sun
Even when the temperature starts dropping, it’s essential to get outdoors and get moving. Exercise, green spaces, and Vitamin D from the sun are all essential for good immune function.
Vitamin D is especially protective against coughs and colds. If you usually get winter bugs, stock up on sunshine.
Remember the essential basics
Other than nutrition, the basic care we give ourselves every day is the best immune support around:
These things may seem simple but for many of us, they’re a work in progress! Getting them right can make a huge difference to our overall wellbeing.
Include plenty of garden goodness
Studies show that the greater the diversity in a person’s garden, the stronger their immune function. Fresh herbs are high in essential minerals and antioxidants - natural immune boosters. Get growing!
Parsley is a winter favourite, as it’s so high in iron and vitamin C - sprinkle it on everything or make a pesto with immune-boosting garlic and lemons.
Opt for prevention rather than cure
There’s no better herb to ramp up your immune function and keep you well than Echinacea. Studies have repeatedly shown Echinacea’s ability to enhance white blood cell production; the white blood cells that destroy unwanted bacteria, viruses and pathogens circulating in the bloodstream.
Root extracts are the best way to take Echinacea, as they have the highest amount of the active constituent alkylamides. These are the little molecules responsible for enhancing immune function, and also the same ones that give good quality Echinacea extracts that distinctive tingle on the tongue.
A single preventative dose of Echinacea can be tripled or quadrupled in frequency if a lurgy does get through the defences.
Try some herbal help
Kiwiherb Organic Echinature® and Kiwiherb Organic Children’s Echinature® both contain echinacea, traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to maintain the health and function of the immune system. They can be added to drink bottles and sipped throughout the day or taken as a single dose in the morning.
Kiwiherb Herbal Throat Spray contains kawakawa, traditionally used in New Zealand herbal medicine to relieve pain. Combined with echinacea, it’s a great go-to from the first tingle of a dry, scratchy throat!. For little ones, Kiwiherb Organic Children’s Throat Syrup contains thyme, traditionally used to in the management of upper respiratory tract infections. Naturally sweetened with manuka honey, it’s a great-tasting syrup for children 2-12 years.