Six common-sense winter wellness tips

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Does your immune system need some extra support during the cooler winter months? Try these six common-sense winter wellness tips to support your immunity - and your wellness - throughout the cooler months.

1.There’s no ‘magic ingredient’ for winter immunity

When it comes to supporting winter wellness and immunity, there is no single ingredient that will ensure that you don’t catch winter bugs or ills and chills. Rather, it is important to keep an eye on your nutrition to ensure your body is getting the variety of nutrients that it requires to support wellness. 

However, during winter, you may find that you’re spending more time indoors, often around other people whose immune systems are fighting their own battles, which can give your immune defences more to deal with. 

Shorter days also mean that there’s less chance to get out into the sunlight, so your body naturally produces less vitamin D. Plus wet, grey, miserable weather can make you more likely to reach for comfort food, which means your immune system may get less of the nutrients it needs. 

This can mean that supplementation is a great option to top-up your nutrient intake to help you stay well through the cooler months.

2. Strong immune defences start with a great diet

Your immune system is a complex network of organs, cells and processes whose job it is to help keep you healthy. This complexity means the overall network needs several nutrients to do its job well. Alongside vitamin D, vitamins A and E play important roles too. So too does vitamin C and minerals like iron, selenium and zinc, amongst many others.

The majority of these nutrients need to be introduced to your body through your diet, so you can see why a healthy, balanced diet is so important for immunity.

To create the best possible foundation for a healthy immune system, start by eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and other nutrient-rich foods. Dark leafy greens, root veges and citrus fruits are all in season now. Also, hot, hearty soups and stews are an ideal winter way to work veges into your diet.

3. Healthy immune systems require rest

You may know about the general relationship between getting enough sleep and healthy immunity. Recently, however, researchers have found a specific mechanism that directly links the two. 

So, how much rest is enough for ‘a good night’s sleep’? 

The Sleep Foundation recognises that different people have different needs1. However, it recommends around seven to nine hours for adults aged between 18-64. Older adults may need slightly less, and children tend to need more – the younger they are, the more they need.

The easiest way to know what’s right for you is to look at how you feel. If you get dozy in the afternoon, or depend on caffeine to get through the day, then you probably need more sleep. 

4. Keep an eye on your stress levels

It took a while for most scientists to really accept the mind-body connection between stress and immunity. However, at least since 2006, researchers have agreed that stress, especially chronic stress, makes it harder for your immune system to do its job2.

If you know stress is an issue for you, don’t just ignore it or try to push it down. Ensure you set aside time to relax, and perhaps try activities like:

  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Creative hobbies
  • Listening to relaxing music

5. Regular outdoor exercise can help 

When the weather’s cold and gloomy, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go outside and get active. However, the immunity benefits are more than worth it. As long as you don’t overdo things, exercise can directly support your immune defences. 

More directly, exercise has been shown to lower stress levels, which (as we mentioned above) can give your immune system a break. Plus, of course, if you exercise outdoors, you can take advantage of whatever sunlight there is to raise your vitamin D levels. A win-win!

6. Once you’ve got the foundations down, consider vitamin C

Although your immune system does need a range of different nutrients to do its job well, there’s one that must get a special mention. That nutrient is vitamin C, but it is important to note that not all vitamin C is created equally.

Vitamin C supports your immune system in a range of ways3,4. Luckily, vitamin C is readily available in fresh food. That said, it’s important to know that in its natural form (ascorbic acid) vitamin C is a water-based molecule that breaks down very quickly. 

Ester-C® is a very different form of vitamin C

Nutra-Life Ester-C® is a special form of vitamin C. It provides all the immune support of standard vitamin C, with a few extra benefits, including:

Rapid absorption: Ester-C® gets into your white blood cells, fast

It’s long-lasting: Ester-C® then stays in your white blood cells for up to 24 hours

It’s non-acidic: Ester-C® is a buffered form of vitamin C, which means it’s gentler on sensitive stomachs than standard vitamin C.

In New Zealand, Ester-C® is available in the Nutra-Life Ester-C® range. Nutra-Life Ester-C® products come in a variety of different strengths, formats and formulations. Whatever your age, and whether you prefer tablets, capsules, chewable or powders - there’s an Ester-C® option that’s perfect for you.

Try adding Nutra-Life Ester-C® to the other common-sense strategies we’ve recommend to support your immune system this winter.
Ester C® is a registered trademark of The Ester C Company.

Vitamin supplement cannot replace a balanced diet. Always read the label. Use only as directed. 

References:
1https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 
2https://www.apa.org/research/action/immune 
3http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16118650
4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495002 


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