Even when we try our best to keep our immunity up, sometimes the cold weather gets too much and the bugs can strike. CHS and Tonic Health naturopath Serena Donaldson talks us through the natural remedies to turn to in times of need.
Although we’re heading into the cooler months, the change in season doesn’t mean our lives slow down. Winter can still be an incredibly demanding time of year, with work, family, social and sports commitments to juggle.
CHS naturopath Serena Donaldson says the downside of this temperature change is cold and flu viruses seem to thrive in the cool winter air, which causes people to get run down and sick more often.
In order to stay strong and protected from winter bugs, Serena recommends people maintain a healthy gut.
“As about 70 to 80 percent of your immune system lies in the digestive tract, it is so important to make sure the microflora in your gut are thriving,” she says.
This can be done through adding fermented foods to your diet, such as sauerkraut, miso or kombucha. If those foods aren’t quite suited to your tastes, a probiotic supplement is also an option.
But if the winter illness is already beginning to take hold, there are natural alternatives to turn to over cold or flu pills. Serena says it’s best to act as soon as signs of a virus begin showing.
“Get as much sleep and rest as possible so the body can focus on healing itself, but sometimes we need to give our bodies a boost.”
“As I come into contact with a lot of sick people in-store over winter, I take a multivitamin and a probiotic daily to prevent illness, and find this combination excellent.”
If you’re already in the depths of a virus, Serena recommends buying a good vitamin C supplement to boost immune cells, a sinus clearing product, such as an oil, to help clear blocked sinuses and boost immunity, as well as an immune defence supplement.
The best ways to fight off the bugs:
- Maintaining a healthy gut through fermented foods or a probiotic.
- Ensuring you get lots of rest.
- Taking a daily vitamin C supplement.
- Taking an immune defence supplement.
- Taking a sinus clearing product.
Want to find out more about any of these products? Then come into one of our group of Community Health Stores and speak to the experts.