How does the change in seasons affect your health?
For many of us, our body’s ability to detect changes in the climate can be sensitive, especially as we shift out of summer and into cooler temperatures.
The rhythmic transition into fall is a reminder for us to nourish our body in preparation of the cold winter months ahead. A sudden change in temperature, along with other factors like stress, lack of sleep, or poor diet can leave us with the sniffles, or even worse, the flu.
Bolstering our defences against germs lurking in our environments is one of the best things we can do for our immunity.
While there's no magic pill that can restore immune function, here are my top 10 immunity boosting supplements that can help you can keep your fem-fortress thriving all winter long.
1. Vitamin D3
A deficiency in Vitamin D3 could be one of the best ways to sabotage our health.
Research confirms that Vitamin D3 is needed in the body for so much more than just strong, healthy bones.
Vitamin D3 is important for immune function and in preventing more serious women's reproductive health issues like infertility, PCOS, and breast cancer, among others.
If you live in a part of the world where the suns rays are sparse throughout the winter, it's especially beneficial to supplement with Vitamin D3.
You may also want to book yourself a sunny vacay, since the sun's rays can be our best form of exposure.
2. Cod Liver oil
Cod liver oil is high quality, deep cold water fish oil that provides a source of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), vitamin A and vitamin D.
Cod Liver oil not only makes our skin glow, it increases vitamin and mineral absorption, supports healthy brain function and boosts the immune system.
Zinc is a mineral needed for over 200 different enzymes in the body.
Zinc is one of the most researched when it comes to immunity and fighting infection. Zinc increases the production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively.
Zinc is also effective in improving sex drive, skin health, wound healing, PMS and mood.
Astragalus has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties suggesting that it may help prevent colds and infections. Astragalus may also protect our DNA telomeres from degradation and therefore increase longevity.
Selenium affects all components of the immune system and therefore a deficiency results in depressed immune function. Supplementation stimulates white blood cell function and helps prevent cellular damage.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is used for the growth and repair of cells and tissues in all parts of the body. It is important for healthy skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C is quickly depleted after stress or an infection.
As an endogenous vitamin (the body is not able to synthesize) it's important to supplement daily as an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C is also best absorbed with bioflavonoids.
7. Oil of Oregano
Oregano has one of the highest antioxidant activity ratings.
This potent herb was revered as a symbol of happiness by the Greeks and Romans, once called "mountain joy".
Rosmarinic acid is an active substance in oregano that provides a strong antioxidant effect and supports the immune system.
Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria (more specficially Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium animalis) are well documented beneficial bacterial strains that support the immune system.
It's recommended that you supplement a quality probiotic with these strains to support immunity.
Echinacea, often called "black-eyed Susan" is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries.
Extracts of echinacea have an effect on the immune system and the body's defence against germs.
Echinacea increases white blood cell production to help fight infection.
Supplementing with a quality B-Complex can not only support improved metabolism, mood, and cognitive function but it can also prevent depressed immunity.
Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 (folate) are especially important, as they are among the two most common vitamin deficiencies in women.
In addition to these immunity boosting supplements, it's important to remember that frequent hand washing (with natural ingredient soaps like tea tree, neem, aloe, or oregano oil) along with a high protein diet, little to no sugar, and lots of sleep are the foundation for a healthy immune system.
Much love and lady flow care,
Elaine Clark, nutritionist, writer, women's health pioneer, and founder of LADYFLOW. Elaine is creating a movement of women living in sync with their hormonal wisdom and creativity. Elaine works with health conscious women to feel at home in their body and awaken to their creative potential. She offers a variety of tools to support women with her workshop offerings, retreats, and wellness products.