Your Winter Immune Wellness

Your Winter Immune Wellness

Surrounded by sniffling friends, family and co-workers? Our Naturopath Renae shares her advice on improving your immunity and it’s not just boosting Vitamin C!

Woman blowing nose with tissueMost of us are at least somewhat familiar with the common and very popular immune boosters in natural medicine: Zinc, Vitamin C and Echinacea. However, sometimes, if we feel ourselves constantly getting sick, we might just need to delve deeper into our health, assess the other factors affecting our immune wellness, and take a more comprehensive approach…

S t r e s s

It is well recognised that STRESS is a big contributing factor to weakened immune function. In our modern, fast-paced world, our body is in a constant state of ‘flight & flight’, rarely given a chance to relax. We need stimulants to wake up in the morning, and then sedate ourselves in the evening with alcohol or drugs; we’ve lost our body’s natural biorhythm!

So what are some signs of chronic stress?

  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes – worry, sadness, irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Weight loss or gain

FACT: Your body uses more nutrients when your body is constantly mounting a stress response. Your body needs more of your essential minerals and vitamins like zinc and magnesium to be utilised for hormone and neurotransmitter (brain messengers) stress adaptation. Boosting your nutritional status through diet and specific supplementation can make a big difference in moving your body out of this ‘sub optimal’ state!

E m o t i o n a l    S t a t e

Mood and attitude have an impact on the function of our immune system. Studies have found grief, depression and stress to have a depressant effect on immunity, even reducing the activity of natural killer cells (which destroy virus-infected cells). This mind body connection is fascinating, but getting positive can be easier said than done…where do we begin? One avenue gaining a lot of research interest is mindfulness and meditation, with researchers finding positive immune-enhancing effects (wow!).

I r o n    D e f i c i e n c y

This is quite common in menstruating or pregnant women, children and the elderly; even a marginal deficiency can reduce the body’s ability to fight off infection.  The best way to determine a deficiency is with a blood test.

Your Daily Immune Wellness Checklist:

  • Extra handfuls of green vegetables & salads
  • Regular meals, and no meal skipping
  • A healthy body weight
  • A minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night
  • A minimum 30-40 minutes of exercise per day (outdoors is ideal)
  • A plant-based diet
  • A regular meditation/mindfulness practice

I encourage you to seek help if your immunity is low. Preventative medicine is the best medicine, and Naturopaths have a unique toolkit available to help.

Renae is available for consultations at West Perth Osteopathy on Fridays,
and boasts ten years of experience in boosting wellness.