How to ward off those winter bugs!
It won’t take long now until autumn really hits us with the cooler weather, shorter days and less sunlight.
While many people enjoy the change in season, it is always around this time of year when the cold weather starts to set in, that those nasty colds and bugs start circulating at work or in school.
As a result, it is a really good idea to make sure that you and your children stock up on those lovely autumn vegetables, such as marrows, pumpkins, butternut squash and sweet potato to obtain well needed vitamins and minerals. I have just started ordering through Abel and Cole (the organic food home delivery service) who have a great recipe section if you are stuck for ideas: http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes or you can just look on Google for an interesting recipe.
In addition to eating well, it is also a good idea to take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. In my previous article, I discussed the role of homocysteine (an independent marker for heart disease and cognitive function) as higher levels of homocysteine are known to increase your chances of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and proper homocysteine metabolism is dependent on B2, Folate and B12. Zinc and magnesium also play an important role in the methyl cycle of which, homocysteine is an intermediate biochemical metabolite. I mention it again here, because of the methyl cycle’s critical role in the production of glutathione – a powerful antioxidant – which is important in keeping your immune system working efficiently.
Another essential vitamin is Vitamin D (made during exposure to sunlight). At least half of the UK population becomes deficient during the winter months because your body can only store Vitamin D for around 2 months (and because you can’t get enough via your diet). Indeed, the government advises that all babies and young children aged six months to five years take a daily supplement containing Vitamin D. As rickets is on the increase again in the UK, I would definitely recommend this. Many GPs are happy to test your Vitamin D levels, so if you often succumb to winter bugs, then I would suggest you ask your GP if they are happy to test your Vitamin D stores. They should be able to advise you on how much Vitamin D to take when you get your test results back.
There are many other supplements which are well known to support your immune system, such as Echinacea and others that are less well known, such as an Elderberry Extract, both for adults and children.
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