As healthcare becomes increasingly expensive, prevention is the way forward for many consumers. And, with winter around the corner, now is the time to make sure your body has the support it needs to combat winter ailments.
The immune system involves a complex system of cells that are distributed throughout your body, explains Andrea du Plessis, nutritional expert at Vital Health Foods. The immune cells are circulated through your bloodstream and have higher concentrations where harmful organisms are most likely to enter your body, such as your respiratory and digestive systems.
Also, your nasal hairs help filter out airborne pathogens, and are aided by your mucus, which traps particles and germs. “With winter upon us, it’s essential to support our immune systems during these colder months,” says Du Plessis. Many factors can impair the functioning of the immune system. Poor nutrition is a major contributor, as the immune system relies on a variety of nutrients for optimal functioning.
In adults, the challenge with immune support is more complex. Nutrient shortages are exacerbated by poor eating habits, the increased requirements of pressured lifestyles and nutrient depletion due to smoking and the use of medication.
Important nutrients to help stave off winter colds and flu are vitamin C and D. Du Plessis advises eating guavas and oranges, which both contain concentrated doses of vitamin C. Sunlight plays an important role in the production of vitamin D, so during the cloudy months, stock up on eggs and oily fish to help get your recommended daily dose of vitamin D.
“Busy lifestyles, lack of sleep and exercise; and stress are all major factors that put the immune system under strain,” says Du Plessis. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week will help stimulate your immune system. And try to get enough sleep: losing even just one hour of sleep can decrease your body’s defences the next day.
Vital Immune Support Tablets are expertly formulated with immune-supporting vitamins and minerals to help improve immune function.Visit www.vital.co.za for more info.