Do you find that a certain time of year seems to bring illness whatever you do? For us, it’s usually September and November. As soon as the children go back to school, there are new bugs going around so it’s important to make sure our immune systems are as strong as possible.
Winter immune boost
Staying hydrated, wrapping up warm and getting enough sleep are all thought to help your immune system. Personally, I swear by open water swimming. But there are other ways to give you a boost too, including ensuring you get the right nutrients.
Chris Newbold, the head of Clinical Nutrition at BioCare has some great tips for keeping healthy this Winter. If your immune system is healthy, it can fight the Winter bugs. But under stress, it can become suppressed and leave us vulnerable to illness and infection.
“There are many different ways we can support ourselves during winter season, but for your immune system to function properly, it needs to be supported with good nutrition. Our diets today do not always contain the sufficient levels of the required key vitamins and minerals we need to maintain a strong and healthy immune system…So, when we are feeling under the weather, specially formulated supplements can help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.”
He recommends Immune Intensive, which combines elderberry, sage, beta glucans, vitamins C and D and zinc for immune support.
Trying out a Winter immune boost
I was delighted to see that Immune Intensive was suitable for vegetarians, so I’ve been putting it to the test. You take one a day for seven days for an immune boost. They come in sachet form, which you mix with water or juice. They don’t taste brilliant, but they’re definitely drinkable and it’s great to get a quick and easy immune boost.
Another way of boosting the immune system is by ensuring good gut bacteria are functioning well. Around 100 trillion bacteria are present in the gut, and they can help protect the body from dangerous strains and help digest food properly.
“The importance of our gut is sometimes forgotten, but our gut actually has a huge influence on the performance of the rest of the body from managing IBS and our digestive health, through to our immune system and keeping skin clear. The levels of good bacteria in our gut can be reduced by poor diet or antibiotics. With Christmas dinners, comfort eating and an abundance of indulgence in winter, it’s best to give our gut all the help it can get.”
Everyday BioAcidophilus contains 10 billion LAB4 bacteria per capsule. They’re free from dairy and contain a natural source of fibre. Better still, they’re both vegetarian and vegan. The capsules are really easy to take and they come in seven day strips, which are ideal for travel or taking to work.
Keeping the children healthy
It’s all well and good me taking precautions to protect my immune system, but the children are effectively on the front line when it comes to being exposed to bugs. So, we’ve also been trying out some supplements to help them stay healthy this Winter.
Both girls love the Red Berry BioMelts. These contain live bacteria and vitamin D to help children’s immune systems. They come in a sachet which the children love to pour into their mouths and they melt on the tongue. There’s no nasties in there either as they’re free from artificial colours and flavours. They’re vegetarian, dairy free and the girls assure me that they taste great.
They’ve also been trying out the Children’s Complete Complex Banana Flavoured Multivitamin and Mineral Powder. This is specially formulated for children from six months and over. It can be mixed with water, milk or juice, or sprinkled onto food. This is both vegetarian and vegan and the powder format makes it easy to take alongside food to ensure the best possible absorption. It’s always good to feel like we’ve done all we can to fight off the Winter nasties.