Tissues at the ready - it is the cold and flu season
A.Vogel’s nutritional therapist, Alison Cullen, has put together a guide on how to stay cold and flu free this winter:
1. Eat a healthy plant based diet - Fill your diet with broccoli, cabbage, red fruits such as blackcurrants and strawberries, carrots, turmeric and onions, which contain plenty of immune protecting chemicals. One serving of vegetables can contain over a hundred different phytochemicals - these include flavones, isoflavones, anthocyanins, lignans, indole-3-carbinol, gallates and glucosinolates as well as vitamins and minerals.
2. Drink - green tea which is rich in many chemicals that have been shown to have health protective properties (phytochemicals).
3. Get some gentle exercise - walking, swimming or cycling for half an hour daily can be very helpful both physically and mentally. Be aware that excessive exercise such as that undertaken during extreme training sessions for competitive sporting activities can reduce the immune response.
4. Relax - it is very important that people allow themselves time for relaxation and recuperation to fuel themselves through their busy lives. Stress is extremely depleting for the immune system, whilst getting sufficient time out can allow the nervous system to calm down, reducing the demands on nutrient levels and improving immune function.
5. Sleep tight - Not getting enough sleep lowers your immune function. The body needs a good seven hours kip to help build itself up. Poor sleep over a long period can decrease immune function very quickly.
6. Limit alcohol - Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is also bad for your immune cells, which get disorientated and confused just like us!
7. Ditch fatty foods - Having a high fat intake or high cholesterol makes your immune cells lazy.