Autumn is the time when our bodies can start to feel the first signs of colds and flu. As the temperature outside starts cooling, now is the best time to support your body to stay well throughout the colder winter months and avoid colds and flu. If you are prone to getting sick in Winter, Naturopathy and Nutrition can play a vital role in keeping your immune system healthy.
Influenza is a potentially serious disease that affects millions of people around the world every year. Many people choose to get an annual seasonal flu vaccine to help protect against flu. Traditional flu shots are trivalent (three-component) vaccines because they protect against three viruses: two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2), and one influenza B virus. Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines are also now available and these protect against an additional B virus (MedicalNewsToday).
While some research shows that vaccination can help reduce the risk of an individual catching the flu, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children (cdc.gov), these days, they can and do often fall short of preventing an individual from catching the flu virus. This is because vaccines are often created based on the Department of Health’s assessment of which flu strains are most likely to hit in a given season.
Today, with so many flu strains around, no one vaccine can completely protect an individual from getting sick. In fact, many people who regularly get vaccinated, still get the flu.
Our Immune System
Naturopathy and Staying well
Our bodies need the best nutrition to function optimally. Every system in our body relies on key nutrients, transported via our blood stream, to do its work well. While fresh food is essential in providing these nutrients, sometimes we need a little more help.
Stress, lack of exercise, long term exposure to air conditioning systems, pollution and other lifestyle choices can negatively impact on the efficacy of our immune system in keeping us well.
A Naturopath can help you create a plan to stay well throughout winter. A qualified naturopath can guide you through the maze of herbal medicines and supplements that can be effective in (a) staying well throughout winter or (2) recovering faster if you do get sick.
Many of us are guilty of consulting Dr Google and, while this can offer some useful information, it cannot compare to seeing a qualified naturopath whose work it is to understand your health needs.
Our naturopath works with you as a unique and whole person. Your immune system is a complex and sophisticated system that can be compromised by a range of factors such as:-
- High levels of stress,
- Lack of quality sleep,
- Diet high in processed foods, sugar and alcohol,
- Poor gut health,
- Lack of exercise,
- Excess weight, and
- Specific medications.
If you are taking any kind of medicine, a Naturopath understands the impact or contraindications of certain supplements with medications. For example, someone on anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin, needs to be careful when considering specific supplements, particularly CoQ10, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng or even Garlic.
All too often, we see clients who have started taking a supplement because a friend recommended it, without understanding that it may not be the right supplement for them.
If you are prone to getting colds and flu
Are you prone to getting colds and flu in winter or do you work in an office surrounded by others who get sick regularly? Herbal medicine formula that is specifically developed for your needs, can be a great way to maintain your health over winter.
If you are regularly prone to catching colds and flu, call us today to book a consultation with our Naturopath. Learn more about our Naturopath, Keri Hogarth, here.
What else you can do to stay well
Here are some simple and effective things you can do for yourself in Autumn to stay well throughout Winter:
- Remember food is medicine. To avoid getting colds and flu, minimise cold foods such as salads and juices. Your body needs the kind of nourishment that get from soups and stews, packed with lots of vegetables.
- Consider adding Bone Broth to your daily menu. Bone broths are nutrient-dense and the marrow found in bones plays an important role in a healthy immune system. We love Meadow & Marrow Bone Broths. Available in clinic.
- Add herbs and spices to your cooking. Garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon are warming and nourishing on the body and help keep it strong.
- Supplements – Important supplements for the colder months are Vitamin A, C and D and Zinc to help prevent colds and flu.
- Essential oils – Burn essential oils around the home. Pure Essential oils can be a natural and healthy way of strengthening the immune and respiratory systems. Use essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lavender to help clear airborne bugs. You can also add 5-8 drops of one of these oils in a bath.
- Introduce Probiotics. Probiotics are natural antibiotics. We love our Sanita Active Turmeric Probiotic Elixir. Take this daily on an empty stomach to help you stay strong. Available in clinic.
Contact us today to stay well this winter.