Never before has boosting your immune system felt so important, we look at the brand of hero supplements that seem to be doing just that…
As a self-confessed health junkie, there is nothing I love more than a good group of supplements. Taking each one, I imagine the good it is doing my body and the armour it is giving me. But not all supplements are made equal. You may not know the difference between synthetic supplements and natural ones but your body certainly does. Natural supplements, like the ones created by Wild Nutrition, are created from whole food sources in the diet and are said to be absorbed by the body much more easily with research to back that up too.
Paying attention to your immune system is always a good idea – after all nobody likes even a common cold at the best of times, and right now it couldn’t be more important. Wild Nutrition’s Immune Support is all about supporting your body’s best possible defence system. The unique complex of Food-Grown® vitamins and minerals, amino acids, biomass mycelial mushrooms and Elderberry all work together to build your immune system’s strength in order to more effectively fight viruses.
What is in Immune Support + What Makes it so Effective?
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated an association between vitamin D deficiency and vulnerability to seasonal influenza. Not everyone will have had a decent length of summer sun exposure and we can only get around 10% of our required intake from food so supplementation is recommended.
Research has shown it to optimise the immune system via its ability to increase white blood cells, which your body needs to fight infection. It is found in varying foods such as seeds and green leafy vegetables but it is a mineral which people are commonly low in. Zinc has a potent ability to improve the anti-viral mechanisms of the immune system. Research has shown its crucial role in inhibiting the progression and replication of viruses including Sindbis virus and Ebola virus.
Vitamin C found in fruit and vegetables are by far the best sources. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and contributes to protect against infection. However, Vitamin C must be consistently topped up as it cannot be manufactured by the body when there is need to support healing and defence. Research has shown that food and food-grown sources of vitamin C (when supplemented) have been found to be more effective and better retained by the body for longer, in comparison to synthetic versions.
The antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) has been shown to inhibit replication of seasonal human influenza A viruses.
Such as maitake and oyster mushroom are rich in active compounds called ‘polysaccharides’, the most well-researched of which are beta glucan 1-3 and beta glucan 1-6. These immune supporting molecules have been shown to support the immune system’s response to viral and bacterial infection.
The Food-Grown technology that is what goes into Wild Nutrition’s supplements is incredibly powerful and research has shown the many benefits of taking nutrients in this format. However the Wild Nutrition advantage goes even beyond that, all of their formulations are born from over 15 years of clinical experience and a knowledge that the body works as an interconnection of systems rather than systems in isolation. Therefore the products provide more than a list of nutrients for energy for example, they will also include other ingredients such as adaptogens and botanicals to support the gut to help the body as a whole, not just one aspect of it.
I wanted to find out more about ways we could be supporting our immune systems, so I caught up with Nutritionist and Wild Nutrition’s Founder, Henrietta Norton, about other things we could also be doing alongside taking their hero immune boosting supplement (which Henrietta’s entire family are currently taking), Immune Support.
What are your top tips for boosting the immune system?
Prevention is the key
Typically many of us ‘react’ to illness – meaning we only give our immune system the attention it deserves when we actually start to feel unwell. This approach isn’t always effective, as building up good levels of nutrients in the body doesn’t happen overnight. During times of heightened risk of infection or during times when our immune system might be particularly susceptible, investing in your immune systems ‘armoury’ is important.
Get good quality sleep
Deep and restorative sleep has a measurable impact on the strength of the immune system. Research has shown that the recommended hours of sleep are 10.30pm-6.30am.
Research has shown that exposure to fresh air has been shown to support the immune system.
A colourful diet
Getting a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) is essential. The colour you see in vegetables and fruit is because of special pigments. These pigments work to support the immune system and provide antioxidant protection when we need it. ‘Think of a rainbow’, getting a full spectrum of colour into your daily diet. These foods are also rich in fibre and help to support gut function which is pivotal for a healthy immune system.
If you can, moderate exercise 3-4 times per week will also improve immune defences against bacterial and viral infection. It can also reduce stress, which can have a suppressive effect on immune tolerance.
Laughter and humour have been scientifically proven to increase our defences against infection, induce feel-good hormones and reduce stress hormones. So despite the panic, keep the laughter flowing.
words by Sadie Reid