Unless you’re into the snow you’re probably already planning your escape to somewhere warmer. No one has time to get sick in the colder months so we sat down with naturopath Stephen Eddey to find out what natural products we should be adding to our daily routine to stay well in the next few months.
- Olive Leaf Extract
Fresh-picked olive leaf extract could be a secret weapon when it comes to helping support your immune system and building a strong front-line winter defence. Antioxidants mop up free radicals that weaken our immune system and cause inflammation, leaving you with a tougher immune system and a decreased chance of catching a cold or flu. Fresh-picked olive leaf extract is a powerful natural antioxidant, and has been traditionally used to support the immune system and relieve symptoms of colds, flu, sore throats and upper respiratory tract infections.
- Manuka Honey
This healing honey has been used by New Zealand’s indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Raw and unprocessed, Manuka Honey is far superior to the regular amber coloured honey. It contains little flecks of nutrient-rich ingredients such as pollen and propolis particles and is produced by bees that are supercharged with enzymes and antioxidant compounds. Also rich in anti-bacterial properties, a spoonful of raw Manuka Honey can help soothe the throat and digestive tract. If you feel a cold coming on, put Manuka Honey in some boiling hot water then add a squeeze of lemon or some slices of fresh ginger.
You may not have heard of this potent antioxidant before, but you’ve probably heard of CoQ10. The majority of coQ10 found in our body is in the form of Ubiquinol, and it is responsible for not only providing our cells with energy, but also for fighting inflammatory free-radicals in the body. Inflammation weakens our immune system and makes us much more susceptible to colds and flu, which is why upping our antioxidant intake is vital. Our natural Ubiquinol levels decline as we age, peaking at the age of 30 and making us more susceptible to inflammation and fatigue. You can find Ubiquinol in foods like spinach, but you would need to eat approximately 50 cups in one day to reach your recommended daily intake, making supplements a much easier option.
- Andrographis (armaforce is a team favourite)
Andrographis is traditionally used to provide relief of symptoms of mild upper respiratory conditions such as a sore throat, congestion and fever. It has been used for centuries for its numerous medicinal benefits, particularly in Asia and India. The plant Andrographis paniculatta is a bitter tasting plant that is often referred to as ‘king of the bitters’. According to studies, andrographis helps to boost the immune system by stimulating the body’s antibodies and white blood cells. It is taken for both prevention and treatment of the common cold.
One of our daily supplements and another handy trick this winter is trying some Magnesium 30 minutes before bed. Magnesium supports relaxation and sleep, which are particularly important for helping your body to fight off cold and flu infections. Magnesium helps to relieve muscle tension by moving calcium out of the muscles, and back into the bloodstream where it can be mobilised elsewhere.
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