Sickness can strike at the worst time, which can lead to missing those important life events such as; recitals, travel plans, work, and well…life. The prevalence of chronic stress, engagement in strenuous exercise and poor diet can all play a role in the frequency and severity of upper respiratory tract infections. It’s no secret that in the depths of winter our immunity is at its highest threat. Building our immunity shield now will help protect us from potential sickness throughout the sub-zero months.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is the body’s natural line of defence against pathogens that can cause disease or malaise.
Why is our immunity weakened when it’s cold?
The exposure to cold temperatures lowers immune function in a similar manner of turning water into ice; by slowing the movement of the molecules. The cold generally makes things operate slower, depending on the severity, and therefore you need to take extra care of yourself during these months.
Many of the most effective methods for improving immune function involve making simple changes to diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, this can be challenging given the average North American diet doesn’t provide the best variety of nutrients for optimal immune function because there is a lack of seasonal produce. Don’t worry, it’s easy to find supplements and vitamins that can fill the missing links!
Top recommendations for staying healthy
Reduce Sugar and Increase Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Your immune system is a collection of white blood cells, organs and special chemical reactions that require specific nutrients to function. Create a healthy foundation with a diet that is high in antioxidants and low in refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Studies have shown that too much sugar can reduce the activity of your white blood cells. Antioxidants include vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc. Increase the intake of antioxidants by consuming fruits and vegetables such as greens, red peppers, oranges and blueberries.
Boost your Vitamin D Intake
A low vitamin D level in the blood is associated with a higher incidence of viral and bacterial infections. Many Canadians are deficient in this essential nutrient and since your body makes less vitamin D during the fall and winter months, supplementation is key.
Consider Adaptogenic Herbs
Stress from a hectic lifestyle, poor diet and decreased sleep quality can increase your risk of contracting a cold or flu. For this reason, l often recommend adding adaptogenic herbs to the daily supplement regimen of my patients. Adaptogens are herbs that strengthen your immune response and build up your resilience to stress which can result in less upper respiratory infections. Herbs such as Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Liquorice have been used in traditional medicine around the world for centuries and can be found in over-the-counter botanical formulas.
Lastly, consider taking Ki to Build your Immunity Shield.
The Ki Immune Defence & Energy Formula is a high potency herbal medicine featuring Astragalus, Olive Leaf and Shiitake mushroom, known for their antiviral, antioxidant and adaptogenic qualities.
Astragalus membranaceus root (Astragalus)
Rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb historically recommended for qi deficient states (1) and used traditionally for infections, cardiovascular disease and as an adjunct in cancer therapy (1). Astragalus meets the demands of everyday physical and environmental stress by reducing one’s vulnerability to upper respiratory infection.
Lentinula edodes mushroom (Shiitake mushroom)
Shiitake mushroom is native to East Asia historically cultivated for both culinary and medicinal purposes. In a human intervention trial, males and females ate shiitake mushroom for 4 weeks. The study concluded there was an increase in natural killer cells, an increase in sIgA and a reduction in C-reactive protein. This suggests an increase in systemic and gut immunity and a reduction in inflammation (2).
Olea europaea leaf (Olive leaf)
Olea europaea leaf is an underutilized natural medicine. The polyphenol constituents of olive leaf, most notably oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, demonstrate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties (3).
The Ki Immune Defence & Energy Formula charges the body’s immune defence mechanisms reducing the severity and frequency of upper respiratory infections while boosting endurance and energy.
Ki Immune Defence & Energy Formula is for those BIG moments.