First aid starts on the inside. How you treat your body, will ultimately create your defence this winter. Here are the Top 4 lifestyle habits to focus on this winter - YOU can be your own superhero this flu season.
- Support Immunity
How do you fight off a nasty cold? Support your immunity!
Most people know the crucial roles that vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibre, and probiotics play on your health, immunity, and life. But most don’t know that lacking these nutrients results in constant exhaustion, tiredness, low energy, and ultimately the ability to protect your health.
In wintertime, cases of the flu and colds are significantly higher. Individuals must take the time and put in the effort to build a strong immune system. This way, you can become your own protector when fighting common colds this winter.
A healthy immune system helps your body fight cell-damaging viruses, colds, and free radicals1. Studies have shown that supplements that aim to restore balance to the immune system, are the key to life longevity1. These supplements unleash the power of your immunity, by boosting the production of immune proteins called interferons. Science has highlighted how individuals can support their own immune system, simply through a dietary supplement that naturally increases the production of interferon in the body1.
Starting with a supplement that provides high levels of micronutrients. These are nutrients humans require in relatively small quantities for proper health and function; however, in today’s world, it is extremely difficult to get enough of these vital nutrients due to the lack of high-quality organic produce and inability to focus on eating fresh fruits and veggies. In fact, in the most recent survey (2021-22) only 6.1% of Australian adults eat the daily recommended intake of fruits and veggies. That means over 93% of us are not meeting the dietary standard8. A supplement containing organic greens and “Superfoods” may provide the essential vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and more to fight stress-inducing free radicals, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system2. Superfoods, whole foods, organic mushrooms, and health support blends are essential and help provide the body with the nutrients it craves.
Your second essential supplement that will assist in building a strong immune system is N-acetyl L-Cysteine; a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-supporting amino acid. L-Cysteine is a conditionally essential amino acid. It can be made in the body. However, it becomes deficient under stress or an insufficient diet3. Not only does it support the immune system, but it also has significant upper respiratory tract health benefits. In your body, the Cysteine combines with Glycine and Glutamine to produce a powerful tri-peptide antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant which helps reduce damage to cells in the body and support healthy immune response.
Another recommended ingredient is Quercetin, a plant flavonoid found in many different fruits and vegetables including onions, raw capers, peppers, blueberries and more. Quercetin supports T-reg production balancing out the immune response to help neutralise pathogens quickly with less symptomatology. It also has a protective effect which has been shown to reduce ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), creating healthier cells, energy production, and less tissue damage. The ingredient Quercetin will help not only boost your current immune defence, but also maintain long-term immunity.
Unrested individuals are much more unlikely to have a suppressed immunity that can lead to a greater risk of catching viruses. Strong evidence suggests that sleep enhances immune defence, simply meaning ‘sleep helps healing’ 4. Sleep supports the initiation of an adaptive immune system; if an individual is well-rested then they are more likely able to fight off a threat before even feeling it. The most powerful cells within the immune system are white blood cells. Scientific research has highlighted, if a human Is well rested their white blood cells are ‘charged’, this allows for threats such as viruses to be neutralised due to high responsiveness within the cellular system 4. Therefore, it is said that when you are in a deep sleep, immune cells migrate and develop. So the deeper your sleep, the stronger your immunity army becomes.
Water is the most abundant component of the body, so it makes sense that hydration should be a priority. Dehydration significantly impacts cognitive function; it affects aspects of general day-to-day health and wellness 5. Most cases of dehydration have been found to show a decrease in alertness, concentration, performance, memories, and an increase in tiredness and illness 5. To stay hydrated, science suggests that an adequate daily fluid intake is 3.7 litres for men and 2.7 for women6. However, in today’s world, three out of four (75%) individuals struggle to reach their daily water intake due to lifestyle 6.
An easy way to increase hydration are electrolytes! Another ingredient that will enhance your health and wellbeing easily. Electrolytes are small substances that naturally dissolve in water to help your body regulate chemical reactions, maintain fluids throughout the body, and ultimately boost hydration and cellular health. Electrolytes in today's market come in many flavours. This is a good thing! Studies show that flavoured drinks are preferred for consumption. Therefore, if your water bottle has flavoured electrolytes; not only will you drink more naturally, but you will maintain sufficient fluid for all body processes. When fighting a cold, your body needs to be able to perform all its processes to the best of its ability - it makes sense that hydration is key and without it, your immunity will crash!
In order for your body to be your superhero this flu season, it needs to be well-rested and recovered. This will allow your immune system and bodily processes to be the strongest they can be. Recent evidence indicates that ingesting protein can enhance recovery, immune function, and growth and maintenance of body mass 7. For example, Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body as is essential to maintain and repair. Therefore, ingesting protein can assist the natural processes of the body to work faster and heal stronger. Recovery will be more efficient, your defence will be stronger, and your health in general will be well built.
With the flu season coming in hot, why not get a jump start and boost your immune defence? These four lifestyle habits are vital to your well-being, so why not give them the attention they require and be invincible this winter!
If you need some nutritious winter recipe ideas, check out our homemade recipes and see how you can comfort your body naturally. All recipes are family-friendly, delicious, and they will support all your loved ones this season.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider
1Singh, G., 2008. How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally?. Lulu. com.
2Dragsted, L. O., Pedersen, A., Hermetter, A., Basu, S., Hansen, M., Haren, G. R., ... & Jakobsen, J. (2004). The 6-a-day study: effects of fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defence in healthy nonsmokers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 79(6), 1060-1072.
3Vida Mokhtari, Parvaneh Afsharian, Maryam Shahhoseini, Seyed Mehdi Kalantar, Ashraf Moini
Cell J. 2017 Apr-Jun; 19(1): 11–17. Published online 2016 Dec 21. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2016.4872
4 Besedovsky, L., Lange, T. and Born, J., 2012. Sleep and immune function. Pflügers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology, 463(1), pp.121-137.
5Ritz, P. and Berrut, G., 2005. The importance of good hydration for day-to-day health. Nutrition reviews, 63(suppl_1), pp.S6-S13.
6Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020. How much water do you need to stay healthy? Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women [Accessed June 28, 2022].
7 Kreider, R.B. and Campbell, B., 2009. Protein for exercise and recovery. The Physician and sportsmedicine, 37(2), pp.13-21.