Go to Nutrients for Winter Colds!
I was asked to write this up about a month ago by Ellie, and unfortunately came down with a massive head cold and was out for a few days! The timing was amusing, and once again as I write this one up, I feel the start of a wee sore throat.
I blame my son (poor wee sausage) who was up for half the night coughing and spluttering all over me! Arrrgh
So this is the thing, we can’t avoid the common cold, its everywhere! As I know and most parents with know, kids who go to school, kindy, playgroup, day-care etc pick up viruses so easily and unfortunately bring them home.
So my advice? There is no single nutrients that prevents the common cold, but there are a range of nutrients that you can take or have on hand to help boost your immune system to better support you through a cold, and hopefully avoid it lingering for too long.
Probably my favourite of all. Studies show that if you boost your intake of the onset of symptoms (i.e: the very first whiff of a cold coming on) it has a better chance of reducing the severity of and length of a cold than Vitamin-C.
Okay, so may not reduce the severity of a cold but if you increase your dose significantly, vitamin-C helps boost a whole range of different immune cells, and also protects healthy cells. It is possible to increase the amount of Vitamin-C quite a bit, just spread your total dose throughout the day.
It is harder for the body to convert co-factors into the active form of Vitamin D3 in the winter die to the lack of sunlight especially here in NZ and the further south you go/live. A deficiency in Vitamin D may increase the risk of respiratory infection, due to it’s ability to hunt out unwanted bacteria and viruses.
We get a-lot of customer’s coming in who talk about the day’s they were fed cod liver oil (must shudder, some smile with nostalgia). But this is because Cod Liver Oil is super high in Vitamin-D. I would say though that id you do decide to take a Vitamin-D3 supplements, that it also contains Vitamin-K2 because the two together ensure a healthy balance needed for proper bone health.
Vitamin-A is particularly beneficial for not only upper respiratory health but also gut health because don’t forget a large portion of the immune system lives within the gut. Vitamin-A is an essential nutrient for the mucous cells, which help to trap unwanted microbes readying them for other immune cells to destroy them.
It also helps to regulate inflammation, another important part of the immune system but making sure that inflammation doesn’t just hang around (think autoimmune).
We don’t need to drastically increase Vitamin-A and D, but a moderate increase as part of a winter supplement plan would be perfect to support the immune system.
This I would say is another must have! There is now so much good evidence around the importance of boosting your good bacteria not only for immunity but for energy (helps improve vitamin B function) plus brain health (good bacteria are involved in making neurotransmitters).
There are so many strains out there, all of them which have their positives. For general probiotic boosting (as in there is no other clinic evidence of other issue such as IBS, leaky gut, or auto-immune symptoms) I like to suggest to people to swap out brands which allows a range of strains to reside in the important area’s.
Liquid Herbs & Herbal Teas
Herbs and their medicinal uses have been around for centuries. They not only have the ability to help boost immune cells and their function, but can also help protect healthy cells, soothe irritating coughs (even croup!) And in some cases promote better sleep.
I like to suggest keeping a few different ones on hand to support you for the difference types of colds around, ie: sinus congestion, wet/day coughs or irritating throats as different herbs offer different medicinal properties.
UMF Manuka Honey
Another favourite of mine, so versatile and easy to get into kids. I like to soak garlic cloves in some honey to boost its immune properties. Yes this is rather hot!! But you only need a tiny bit from a spoon to get the benefit. Otherwise you can use it straight, add it to lemon to make syrup, or make a lemon tea with freshly chopped ginger for extra warmth. The possibilities are endless!
So what do we have that can help protect you and your family this winter?
We have a great selection of different winter nutrients in store to help both adults and children. Here are some idea’s of what you can try:
Nutra-Life Winter Multi – Combination of vitamin’s, mineral’s, and herbs which can be taken as a daily boost throughout winter
Radiance Zinc Complex – To be taken at the onset of colds
Artemis Liquid Herbs – A selection of herbs that support the immune system
KiwiHerb Liquid Herbs – A selection of herbs that specifically support sinus, chest or throat
Radiance Clear Lungs – A great tasting liquid that help to support the chest
Nutra-Life Chewable Ester C – With other key nutrients such as Zinc to help support upper respiratory health
Radiance – Radiance range of chewable probiotics of immune gummies
Radiance Clear Lungs – The flavour is so delicious so is suited for both adults and kids.
KNH Chewable Vitamin C – Buy it in the big value bag that way the whole family can share.
As always, if you have any questions around these nutrients or need idea’s on what to stock up on for the rest of winter, just ask us! As for me… I am about to raid the cupboard for some zinc and yummy tasting liquid herbs!!