Fight Colds and Flu this Winter

Avoid sniffles, sneezing and sore throats

Disease causing viruses or bacteria can enter your body simply by breathing or eating! Fortunately, only a few of these, particularly viral, ‘pathogens’ result in a cold or flu because you are equipped with an immune system specifically designed to fight off unwanted  invaders. That said, are you one of the many people, for whom a string of colds and flu is a way of life in winter? Perhaps getting rid of the seemingly endless sniffles, sneezing and sore throats seems like an unachievable ideal. Fortunately, it is possible to improve your immune system function and reduce the frequency and severity of those nasty winter lurgies with a bit of awareness and some simple strategies.

5 Tips to support your immune system

If you are stressed out, unfit, run down and/or have a diet that can be regarded as perhaps nutritionally poor, you may unknowingly be compromising your immune system’s defences and be more at risk of catching a winter virus. So, preparing your immune system to fight against this winter’s lurgies begins with a few simple preventative measures:

  1. Reduce stress – being stressed  reduces immune system  function,  so make sure you have regular time-out.  Meditation or ‘green’ time outdoors like taking a walk or playing with pets are wonderful unwinding activities.
  2. Enjoy regular exercise – remaining active reduces the risk of catchin a cold by up to 46%;
  3. Sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours each night to restore energy and improve resilience.
  4. Eat enough veggies (and fruits) – at least three cups of fresh vegetables and/or salad, plus two serves of fresh fruit every  day!  Fill  your plate with a rainbow of colour to ensure an abundance of essential nutrients and antioxidants that will help support healthy immune system  cells. 
  5. Regularly wash your hands – simple soap and warm water helps reduce cross-contamination from unwell people.

Even though being prepared is the best strategy – realistically it may be difficult to achieve everything you are ‘meant’ to do, which is where our naturopaths can  help.

Our Ringwood naturopaths use natural medicines to create an individualised prescription for your needs, making  a lasting difference to your health and vitality throughout Winter. And if  appropriate we can even use our Stress Less, Wellness and Healthy Ageing Programs to further guide you.

Marvellous  medicinal mushrooms
Now, if you are one of those people that experiences recurrent infections then your immune system could benefit from some more specific additional support. The advantage of natural medicine is that it is not just to treat illness, but improve your own natural immune defences. For example, the immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms are great. They include cordyceps, coriolus, shiitake and reishi mushrooms which are traditionally used as well as widely-studied and clinically proven. Individually, each species of mushroom has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in immune enhancement, to help resolve chronic, and/or recurrent infectious conditions. What’s more, this combination of mushrooms provides symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections, including the reduction of mucus congestion.

Healthy gut – healthy immune system!

Did you know that approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system? This emphasises how important it is to also look after your gut health. Many people are aware that certain probiotics can support digestion, but did you know there are specific probiotics that support a healthy immune system? The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®)  all  help enhance immune system function, making this combination a valuable aid to winter wellness.

Since a healthy immune system is supported by the right microbial balance in your gut, speak to our Naturopaths about which probiotic combination is the most appropriate, to help overcome your immune system concerns.

No need to hibernate

There’s no need to experience ongoing or recurrent illness this winter, or hide away at home on the  couch.  Start  by  modifying what needs to change in your diet and lifestyle, and speak to Naturopaths at Your Wellness Centre today about specific strategies to help support a healthy and resilient immune system and avoid any winter worries.

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Winter Wellness

With last week being so very cold, we have seen a spate of colds,  leading me to give you some really useful advice to help you avoid being at the mercy of winter this year.

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy - Immune systemMost of us are no strangers to those dreaded colds and flus that can leave you and your family with runny noses, coughs, sore throats, headaches, fevers and fatigue through the winter months.

This means it is the perfect time to boost your immune system and defend against cold and flu symptoms which are the leading cause of time away from school and work. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

There is natural support for your immune defences against both viruses and bacteria so they won’t keep bugging you and making you sick.

Key Herbs and Nutrients play a Crucial Role

These act as natural winter warriors and can help to protect you and your family this season. Here are some examples:

• Andrographis: This immune herb given at 6 g has been shown to be as effective as paracetamol for reducing fever and sore throat. Together with Zinc and Picrorrhiza, Andrographis may also help to reduce duration of illness.

• Elderberry is an excellent herb to help reduce flu symptoms such as fever and runny noses.

• Cordyceps, Coriolus and Reishi are medicinal mushrooms that specifically target virally-infected cells, often the cause of those winter colds and flus. These medicinal mushrooms can be taken for both acute and chronic infections, to help restore a healthy functioning immune system.

• Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C: These key nutrients are all important to help reduce the severity and duration of illness, whilst also supporting your immune system to function optimally.

Let’s remember The Gut – Your Link to Immunity

Did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune system is actually located in your digestive system? Understanding this will emphasise how important it is to look after your gut health. Your diet and the overall functioning of your digestive system will affect your immune system.

Probiotics not only help with digestion, but there are also key probiotics that help your immune system. The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 have been shown to help boost your immune system function.

Eating To Stay Well Through Winter

Healthy eating plans are essential throughout winter to help strengthen your immune system. Maintaining good nutritional status can help keep you healthy and reduce your risk of getting sick, as well as aiding faster recovery.

• Eat seasonally, fresh and organic as much as possible.Your Wellness Centre - Healthy Food - Immune System

• Eat a well-balanced Mediterranean style diet with plenty of

fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats.

• Reduce inflammatory foods that can suppress immune function and are mucous-forming. These are dairy, sugar, white breads, cakes, and soft drinks.

• Try a hot fresh lemon, garlic and ginger tea with a dash of honey, or thyme tea to soothe a sore throat.

• Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses per day, and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.

• Take time to rest and relax, and get a good night’s sleep.

So act now and boost your immune system to prime it against common invaders. Give yourself the chance of getting through these winter months without suffering at the hands of the common cold or flu. Even if  someone has already started kindly ‘sharing’ their bugs, immune herbs and nutrients and a healthy diet will still help you by reducing the severity and duration of your symptoms. Let’s look forward to winter this year and experience it in a state of wellness.

Take the step toward a healthier you!
Call 9879 9596 and book in an appointment today!

 

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy Melbourne

 

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Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Are you struggling to lose weight?

It may well be as a result of Metabolic Syndrome, also known as Syndrome X.

Metabolic Syndrome is the name given to a collection of symptoms and medical signs that occur together in the same patient. These Include:Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy - Cardiovascular Health - Metabolic Syndrome

  • Insulin resistance
  • High levels of the hormone insulin
  • High Blood fat
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Fat accumulation around the abdominal area

These signs act as a warning sign that you are heading on a path towards serious chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The first sign of Metabolic Syndrome is excess fat around the middle. Even if your waist measurement is only just over 80 cm if you are a woman, or more than 94 cm if you are a man, you could be increasing your risk of some serious complications.

Metabolic Syndrome has been described as a modern epidemic. In Australia, it is estimated that one in three people over the age of 25 years has Metabolic Syndrome. People with Metabolic Syndrome are three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and up to five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to healthy people.

What are the Causes of Metabolic Syndrome?

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have lived and thrived with a life of enforced physical activity, with a diet based around fresh lean protein, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Our bodies now struggle to maintain balance in the face of modern dietary and lifestyle challenges where there is a constant supply of calories, high sugar and high-fat foods combined with a lack of daily exercise. The causes of Metabolic Syndrome are all within your control and include things like:

• Sedentary lifestyle – i.e. lack of exercise

• High carbohydrate diet

• Poorly managed stress

• Genetic factors such as a family history of diabetes or heart disease

• Cigarette smoking

The Good News!

The good news is we can help you change the course of your health to lead a happier, healthier life. We can help you with some simple recommendations, such as:

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy - Cardiovascular Health - Metabolic Syndrome• A low carbohydrate eating plan that is high in lean protein and rich in healthy fats may improve fat burning, weight loss and help you achieve and maintain a lean body composition. Talk to us today about meal replacement options to initially help you to lose fat while you adapt to a new way of eating.

• Regular aerobic exercise will encourage weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels and reduce blood sugar levels.

• Stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation are a great way to nurture your mind. Remember, poorly managed stress is one of the causes of Metabolic Syndrome!

• Along with a healthy lifestyle and diet, there are many nutritional and herbal supplements that we can recommend for you to help address the causes of Metabolic Syndrome.

Make Positive Changes Today!

Many people do not recognise the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome and therefore do not seek out healthcare advice to help them turn the tide on this dangerous condition. Don’t let this be you! If you, or someone you know, may have Metabolic Syndrome, contact us today for a check-up. Do not miss out on the opportunity to learn about positive dietary and lifestyle changes you can make today to get you back on track and prevent a future of debilitating disease.

Take the first step towards a healthy future today. Ask us about Metabolic Syndrome and the ways to change from a future of chronic disease to a future of health and vitality. Prevention is the best medicine!

Ring  98799596  and make an appointment with one of our naturopaths to see if you are at risk!

 

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy Melbourne

 

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Coughs and Colds

The common colds can be caused by over 200 different viruses that infect areas of the upper respiratory tract including the nose, throat, sinuses, Eustachian tubes, trachea, larynx, and bronchial tubes.

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy - Colds

Colds can be treated really effectively with natural medicines and if the immune system is supported colds can be prevented.

Infection generally occurs when an individual’s immune system is depleted or weak. The immune system is our defense against the bacteria, viruses, cancer cell and allergens that attack our bodies and make us feel sick. It consists of white blood cells, lymph glands and vessels, and various other body tissues. If the immune system weakens, its ability to defend the body also weakens, allowing pathogens, including viruses that cause common colds and flu, to grow and flourish in the body.

Typically, adults get one or two colds per year and it is not uncommon for children to get them more frequently. Colds are self-limiting, lasting from 7 to 10 days. Symptoms may include: a sore throat, head congestion and headache, fever and watery eyes, cough and sneezing, as well as general malaise, aches, and pains. These symptoms are similar to symptoms of allergies except that allergies do not cause fevers or infections. Sometimes a cold may lead to more serious conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or influenza (flu). Influenza is sometimes confused with a cold, but flu causes much more severe symptoms and generally a fever. As the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, prescription antibiotics cannot cure a common cold or flu.

The health of the immune system plays an integral role in the body’s susceptibility to colds and flu. Keeping the immune system in good shape with a healthy lifestyle may include a program of optimal nutrition, regular exercise, stress-management and ensuring good quality sleep. As well as avoiding harmful chemicals and pollutants such as tobacco, excessive amounts of alcohol and refined sugars, all of which can impair the immune system.

Strengthening a weakened immune system may help prevent catching a cold or the flu. Nutrients that may aid the enhancement of the immune system include the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc.

Herbs such as Andrographis, Echinacea, and Olive Leaf,  are all useful in both the prevention and alleviation of cold and flu symptoms.

Nutritional Considerations

Zinc

• Plays a central role in the immune system and intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system.
• Functions as an antioxidant and can stabilise cell membranes.
• Crucial for the normal development and function of the cells that mediate non-specific immunity.

People who are deficient in zinc may be more susceptible to various pathogens and therefore to colds.

OLIVE LEAF

Vitamin CYour Wellness Centre Naturopathy Olive Leaf

• Plays an important role in the approach to natural immune enhancement.
• Acts as an antibiotic and antiviral through improvement in resistance.

Vitamin C is well known for its effects in reducing the frequency, duration, and severity of the common cold. It is important to supplement with vitamin C at the onset of symptoms as the levels of vitamin C in the body are quickly depleted during the stress of an infection.

Vitamin A and E

Vitamin A has been shown to stimulate and/or enhance numerous immune processes.
Vitamin E enhances immunity.

Herbal Medicine

Andographis

• Effectiveness in humans is focused on the common cold.
• Clinical studies in bacterial and viral respiratory infections demonstrated positive effects, implying an immunostimulant action.
• There is also some evidence that Andographis might increase antibody activity

Echinacea

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy Echinacea Purple Cornflower• Commonly used for upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold and influenza because it is reported to have antiviral and immune system stimulatory effects.
• Has an inhibitory effect on inflammation and on the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi which is based on the stimulation of controlling elements of our immune system.

Olive Leaf

• A bacteriostatic and antioxidant.
• Useful in the irritation of the mucous surfaces of air passages and of the alimentary tube.

Diet and Lifestyle

Ways to reduce spread and contraction of infection:
• Wash hands frequently

• Rest at least 6 to 8 hours each night
• No smoking
• Ensure adequate hydration (1-2 liters of water daily)
• Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
• Avoid refined sugar and simple carbohydrates

Contact us to find out more about Cough and Colds.

 

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy Melbourne

 

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It could start with a Sneeze or Itchy, Sore Throat

For some, it could mean that a cold or the flu is on its way.
Normally not too much of a problem if you are reasonably healthy because they really don’t last that long. However, if you are stressed, doing a lot, don’t have the time to eat regular healthy meals or have an immune system that struggles, extra precautions should be taken throughout winter.

Certainly, if you really have a busy week or some “not to be missed social engagement” and you want to be on the safe side and do all you can to stop it taking hold, I advise that you pop in as much Vitamin C as you can and then top it up with Zinc. Further, if you have the time to talk to one of our naturopaths, we could dispense a good herbal preparation to give your immune system that extra boost.
By the way, Vitamin C has taken to ‘saturation point’ is advisable here. You’ll know this when your stools become a bit loose. At this stage, you simply go back to the previous dose. Research shows that you can take up to 12g Vitamin C per day in divided doses.

We’ve added an article on Coughs and colds for you below:

ARE YOU SICK OF CATCHING COLDS AND ‘FLUS?

Colds and Flu - Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy

Colds and ‘flu can strike at anytime, not just the dreaded winter season. The good news is you do not have to put up with runny noses, sinus pain, fevers, sore throats, coughs and generally feeling unwell.
Now is the time to look at which natural supplements may help support your immune system.

Simply contact Your Wellness Centre on 9879 9596 for help with fighting colds and ‘flus.

Why Do We Get Colds and ‘Flus?

If you regularly catch colds and ‘flus you may have an imbalance in your immune system which may make you more susceptible to infections. A poor diet, nutritional deficiencies and/or a lack of exercise can all lead to these imbalances in your immune system. A strong immune system can help to protect you from potentially harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, by recognising and responding to them as soon as they become a threat.

Viruses Can Cause Colds and ‘Flus

Contrary to popular belief, viruses cause colds and ‘flus – not bacteria. Viruses are minute infectious agents which invade and hijack your cells. The immune system recognises viruses as invaders and attempts to destroy them before they can invade your cells. If the immune system is out of balance, however, it may not have the ability to destroy viruses and viral infections can occur. Common symptoms of viral infections include a sore throat, fever, and fatigue.

Herbs and Nutrients

If your immune system is struggling to defend you, don’t despair – Natural Medicines may help! Particular herbs and nutrients may help you to manage your cold and ‘flu symptoms naturally, as well as improve underlying immune imbalances.

Speak to us about which herbs and nutrients may be of benefit for you.

Diet and Lifestyle Suggestions

We have listed dietary and lifestyle changes that you can make to strengthen your immune system to prevent colds and ‘flus here:Fresh veggies and nuts - Your Wellness Centre

  • Eat a well-balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, legumes and lean red meat
  • Reduce your intake of mucus-forming foods such as dairy.
  • Avoid foods low in nutrients that suppress the immune system, such as sugar, white flour products, and alcohol.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water every day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Ensure you are getting enough sleep.

By making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle and by taking the appropriate supplements, you can reduce your risk of catching colds and ‘flus. Speak to us about the best way to manage or prevent your colds and ‘flus naturally.

Useful Herbs and Nutrients

  • Fever and sore throat we recommend Andrographis
  • Productive cough can be eased using Aster, Pinellia, Magnolia
  • Dry irritating cough may be reduced with Licorice, Marshmallow among others
  • Sinus congestion  may be relieved using anti-microbial essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, and Thyme used in a sinus spray
  • Frequent colds and ‘flus require regular doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and Probiotics

Simply contact Your Wellness Centre on 9879 9596 for help with fighting colds and ‘flus.

Your Wellness Centre Naturopathy Melbourne