Changing of the seasons
It is that time of the year when the seasons start to change again. The Northern Hemisphere is slowly getting reading for winter; whilst the Southern Hemisphere is gearing up for summer. When the seasons change, it is important to make sure that your immune system is topped-up. Many people worldwide struggle with allergies this time of year, as do people often catch a cold. This is due to the seasons changing. Whether it is the colder weather, or the pollen and/or grass seeds, make sure to add some extra vitamin C, vitamin D, Zinc and B-vitamins to your diet.
Vitamin C, with added Zinc, plays an important role when it comes to building and maintaining a strong immune system. If you have a sensitive gut, opt for a buffered vitamin C. The B-vitamins, especially vitamin B6 and B12, play a crucial role in keeping your immune system strong, especially this time of year, but also when you are under stress. The body is a wonderful model; when you need an extra boost, it uses the vitamins in your body to help. However, when your body is depleted, your immune system drops and your chance of getting ill or suffering from allergies, can increase.
Your gut also plays a vital role in a healthy body. When the pH-balance is not balanced, especially when it is too acidic, it can also compromise your immune system and cause illnesses, dis-eases and/or allergies. A dis-ease is exactly what I have written: the body is out of balance and, the only way for your body to tell you (as it were) that there is something amiss, is to become ill.
Other vitamins to add to your list of immune-boosters, are copper and selenium. Copper, in combination with iron, helps to maintain a healthy white blood cell count (these blood cells are often destroyed by microorganisms). Selenium stimulates the T-lymphocytes’ activity and production. These are cells that helps the body fight bacterial and viral infections. If you have low levels of selenium in your body, it can contribute in viral mutation, thus causing more people to get influenza.
Popping pills are not all bad, but one should never rely just on tablets to take the place of good nutrition. Eating healthy, balanced meals and making sure to drink enough water, is important, as is staying active. Clean, organic food is always a good choice, because more and more allergies and food sensitivities are linked to the pesticides and added hormones that are put into food; not to mention GMO.
Echinacea is very helpful in helping to fight respiratory tract-infections, as is ginger, garlic and honey. Oily fish like salmon and sardines, are high in Omega 3-oils. Did you know that sardines are also high in vitamin D? This vitamin is crucial for defending your immune system and, if your vitamin D-levels are depleted / low, then your body’s T-cells remain dormant and attack and fight off bacteria or viruses.
Sweet potatoes, Elderberries, Cranberries and other fresh fruit, are also good for boosting your immune system. The red / orange fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins and beta-carotene. Berries are rich in anti-oxidants and many are packed with antiviral properties and vitamin C.
Red meat contains the vitamin B6 and zinc. Eating red meat in moderation and without the fat, is better not only for your weight but also your cholesterol-levels, heart and arteries. Vegetarians need to either take an iron-supplement or can add more chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds and soya to their diet, in order to take in the right amount of iron and zinc.
Last on the list are your spices. Turmeric, ginger and garlic, all have anti-viral and antibacterial properties. Turmeric and garlic have natural anti-inflammatory properties in and ginger is wonderful for a sore throat, an upset stomach, aids in fighting colds and flu and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
All in all, there is not definite yes or no when it comes to taking supplements. Supplements are not there to take the place of a well-balanced diet. Supplements, as the word says, is something we take to add to our diets. Many of the food today, as mentioned earlier, is depleted (unless it is organic) and taking a supplement just adds that extra boost that you need.
This time of the year, when seasons change, people can become teary-eyed or excited. So, there is no harm to make sure that your immune system is given an extra boost to help you with the change. Many people don’t mind the seasonal changes and enjoy it, but there are those that struggle. Boosting your immune system and making sure that it stays strong, is not only good for your health, but also your mood and energy-levels.