5 immune system BOOSTERS

09 October 2013

With colder weather on its way. Colds and flu aren’t inevitable in autumn and winter – follow our tips to beat the bugs…

  1. Love your gut. The trillions of bacteria in your gut help to digest food, and also release antimicrobial compounds. Antibiotics upset this balance, so if you’re on them, take a probiotic to boost good gut bacteria. Try Multibionta Immune Defence supplement, £9.59 for 30 tablets, or Actimel drink, £2.79 for 8 x 100g pack.
  2. Take a vitamin D supplement. This vital vitamin helps destroy bugs, but in winter we don’t get enough from the best source: sunlight. Take a D3 supplement, available on prescription if you’re 65 or over. Ask your GP.
  3. Move more. Exercise kick-starts your immune cells. Research shows that regular bursts of aerobic activity can reduce the time you have a cold by half. Try brisk walking or swimming.
  4. Reduce stress. Chronic stress raises levels of cortisol and noradrenaline, making you more susceptible to infections. Try mindfulness meditation where you focus on staying in the moment while you sit and breathe quietly.
  5. Try echinacea. At the first sign of a sniffle, this herb can reduce symptoms and possibly prevent a cold. Try Potter’s Elixir of Echinacea Plus, £10.16 for 135ml.

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