Winter in the Northern Hemisphere always seems to bring with it some nasty bugs and this year has seem some especially nasty viruses, like EV-D68, that have had a big impact on children and those with lower immunity. These Enteroviruses are often found in the respiratory secretions and stools of a person. Colds and Flu, stomach upsets and coughs that upset your sleep can all be quite debilitating. Arm yourself with a strong immune system and take sensible precautions to remain healthy or to bounce back quicker if you do catch something.
The normal precautions to avoid infections and stop spreading viruses and bacteria apply
- avoid contact with sick people
- wash your hands frequently with cleanser and running water
- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or you sleeve, if you use your hands then wash them immediately.
- clean and disinfect surfaces like toilet seats, handles, taps, toys, keyboards and TV remotes with toxin free anti-bacterial wipes or sprays like Faith in Nature from Big Green Smile.
- use a hand sanitiser in between hand washing (but not one with Triclosan as it is a hormone disrupter and can react with chlorine to produce Dioxin)
- get plenty of sleep
- stay hydrated
- get fresh air
In addition you can put a small amount of Tea Tree cream up your nose, spray your throat with Silver Spray or gargle with Apple Cider vinegar or diluted grapefruit seed extract – these are also great precautions to take when flying. Apple Cider vinegar and honey in a little warm water also good for a sore throat and you can swallow after gargling.
Foods, Herbs and Spices that can really help your immune system
Zinc – get plenty in your diet by eating red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin D – eat plenty of oily fish like sardines, eggs, & fortified milks.
Vitamin C – in nearly all fresh fruit and vegetables but especially kiwis, tomatoes, mango, lemons and limes, broccoli, cabbage and peppers.
Immune boosting mushrooms – all mushrooms but especially ones like Shittake and added to Tom Yum soup with the added benefit of good chicken stock, garlic, lime juice and fresh coriander.
Rosemary -anti-viral, aids sweating and detoxification
Ginger – soothes aching muscles and reduces fever, detoxifies by stimulating the liver and kidneys.
Green Tea – immune boosting, reduces inflammation aids a healthier respiratory system
Curcumin, liquorice root and Omega 3 fish oils – are all anti-inflammatory and liquorice especially good for your lungs.
Garlic – rich in organic compounds that detoxify the body, stimulate the circulation and helps cleanse the lymphatic system.
Honey – soothing with anti-inflammatory effect but not to be given to babies under one year due to a small risk of Botulism.
Supplements for immune system
- Most important Probiotics. Even babies and children can take special probiotics like Optibacs for babies and children and ProVen Probiotics and Multivitamin for toddlers (12mths -4 yrs.)
- Vitamin D3 can be taken as capsules for adults and drops for children such as Quest Brightstart Vitamin D3 plus DHA
- Vitamin C best taken as a high dose fizzy drink (1G per drink) or as a liquid like Sambucol (Black elderberry) for children 1-12 yrs.
- Zinc – available as pills or as drops (like BioCare zinc plus Vitamin C) for babies from 3 -12 months old.
- Spirulina- a super-food with Vitamin B12, essential proteins, beta carotene, trace minerals and the essential fatty acid GLA.
- Astragalus Root is an immune system tonic and can raise white blood cells
- Echinacea is an immune stimulant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. both of these herbs should only be taken for short periods (up to 3 weeks) and not by anyone with known Autoimmune disease.
All these supplements can be purchased from bodykind (USA, Europe and UK) who specialise is quality supplements.
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