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.
Boost your immune system with vital this winter
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. These immune cells circulate through your bloodstream. They have higher concentrations where harmful organisms are most likely to enter your body. These include your respiratory and digestive systems.
Also, your nasal hairs with the aid of your mucus help filter out airborne pathogens, thus, trapping particles and germs. So, 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.
What about young children?
Young children and toddlers are more susceptible to colds and flu mainly because their immune systems have not matured yet. Furthermore, natural vulnerability to infections and poor nutrition explain the higher incidence of respiratory infections in children compared with adults.
“Vitamin A in particular is important to help maintain the immune system, and many children under the age of 5 are deficient. Therefore, this further opens the gate to infection,” says Du Plessis. Foods rich in vitamin A include eggs, liver and full-cream dairy products. Vital has introduced Vital Kids Immune Support. This is a delicious raspberry-flavoured syrup packed with the immune-support nutrients vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc.
The challenge with immune support is more complex in adults
Poor eating habits, the increased requirements of pressured lifestyles and nutrient depletion due to smoking and the use of medication exacerbate nutrient shortages. Thus, the important nutrients to help stave off winter colds and flu are Vitamin C and D. So, Du Plessis advises eating guavas and oranges, which both contain concentrated doses of vitamin C. Also, sunlight plays an important role in the production of vitamin D. Therefore, during the cloudy months, stock up on eggs and tinned 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 packed with immune-supporting vitamins and minerals to help improve immune function.