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5 Essentials for a Healthy Winter

by Marie Couture ND 05 Jun 2024
5 Essentiels pour un Hiver en Santé - La Boite à Grains

Viruses have been around longer than we have, and we have to live with them. The experience of the last few years has convinced us that the hygienic measures adopted during this period have been very useful in preventing the spread of cold and flu symptoms, sinusitis, ear infections, gastroenteritis, etc. But now the cold weather is upon us, and human contact is more frequent and closer. So it's a good idea to take a look back at how to protect your immune system.1, 2, 4, 6, 8

Taking stock of our immune system

First of all, let's be proactive and start by assessing the state of our immune system with a short questionnaire. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will help to restore it, or else it would be a good idea to consult a naturopath to take a look at the state of your health.

  • When you wake up, do you feel fit?
  • Does your sleep seem to be restorative?
  • Do your daily menus contain fruit and vegetables?
  • Are you at a healthy weight?
  • Do you drink water?
  • How is your digestion, after eating and throughout the day?
  • Do you have a bowel movement every day?
  • Do daily chores like cleaning, shopping and/or preparing meals seem exhausting?
  • How do you feel physically?
  • Are you physically active at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week?
  • In winter, do you tend to "catch everything" (colds, flu, gastros, etc.)?
  • How quickly do wounds on your skin heal?
  • Do you feel a lot of stress on a daily basis?
  • Do you spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer?

Once you've answered these questions, you'll have a good idea of your immune system..1, 2, 3, 9

Is health important to you? When we want to make changes to our lifestyle, we need to take the time to reflect on those changes that pose a serious challenge to us. Then get started and do your best...3

Viruses and flu: a brief history

Influenza is viral in origin and mainly affects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, trachea, bronchi). It has been known for a very long time. It was the Italians in the 14th century who gave it the name Influenza di fredo "disease brought on by the cold", as it was more often seen in the cold season. Like most infectious diseases, it is highly contagious and appears cyclically.

Some well-known pandemics are still etched in our memories, including the Spanish flu (H1N1) of 1918, which originated in the United States, the Asian flu, Singapore strain (H2N2) of 1956 to 1958, the Hong Kong flu (H3N2) of 1968-69, and the one we're currently facing, i.e. the "SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus", which causes COVID-19, and so on..1

The immune system

A strong immune system acts as a "bodyguard" against the intrusion of harmful micro-organisms, triggering a response if they manage to infect our body.

The immune system is a set of complementary defense mechanisms that protects against potential infection, by identifying and killing pathogens. These include viruses, bacteria, parasites and even fungi. Detecting these pathogens is no easy task for the immune system, since they want to survive, adapt to our bodies, go undetected and gain strength. The immune system must therefore react like a well-trained soldier to pierce the camouflage, find the pathogen and destroy it.

Hence the importance of maintaining good lifestyle habits to prevent cold and flu infections..1, 2, 6, 9

Influenza

We know that influenza is predominantly a cold-weather disease. Researchers have discovered that the flu virus multiplies more easily in a cold environment with low humidity. Flu symptoms differ from those of a cold, above all in their intensity. The person affected by the flu will suddenly feel more tired, with chills, followed by fever, a runny nose, a sore throat (sometimes with muscle aches), headaches and so on..1, 9

ENT viruses (colds, flu, sinusitis, etc.) are transmitted from human to human. As mentioned above, this transmission occurs via the respiratory and cutaneous routes, primarily through the hands. Fine, virus-rich droplets from coughs and sneezes are responsible for this spread. The virus infects the body by entering and attaching itself to respiratory cells. It then reprograms the cells, hijacking their activities and multiplying..1, 9

5 essentials for a healthy winter: prevention with New Roots Herbal Company

Flu strikes where there's a weakness. We can provide the body with essential nutrients to repel viruses and prevent their proliferation. It's also possible to live through our illnesses without complication or infection by supporting the immune system, but also when signs of weakening appear.

Let's take a look at some natural strategies for protecting our immune system throughout the winter.

5 essentials for a winter healthyvitamin D

Vitamin D, known as the "sunshine" vitamin" is an important nutrient for regulating immune system activity. In fact, 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun (hands, forearms and face) two to three times a week between April and October would be enough to provide an adequate amount for a healthy adult. However, during the autumn and winter months, the sun's rays are weaker, and we become more withdrawn, which is when we lack this vitamin. "sun". It is therefore necessary to add a vitamin D supplement to compensate for this deficiency.

New Roots Herbal offers capsules or as a liquid form vitamin D from 1000 IU or 2500 IUbiologically active. It is essential for the immune and nervous systems, to counteract the winter blues. Vitamin D is important for the absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus. It is necessary for strong bones, teeth and nails..1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9

5 essential for a healthy winter winter: Vitamine C8

Vitamin C8 is a combination of :

  • Mineral ascorbates (calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, selenium, sodium) in water-soluble form for easy absorption.
  • Ascorbyl palmitate, a fat-soluble antioxidant
  • Green tea, grape-seed extract and bioflavonoids (bilberry, quercetin, rutin, etc.) with antioxidant properties.
  • Black pepper to aid absorption
  • Proteolytic enzymes (bromelain, papain) that break peptide bonds within proteins and act as anti-inflammatories

This formula supports the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant. Vitamine C8 is gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, with no artificial flavoring or coloring, starch-free or sugar-free.

Dosage 1 capsule twice a day with food.

Increase dosage when symptoms occur.4

5 essential for a winter winter: Reishi

The Chinese call it "the mushroom of immortality". In Chinese herbal medicine, it is highly esteemed and used as a tonic.

The "Mushroom of Immortality" has been considered a longevity plant in Asian cultures for 2,000 years. Visit reishi from New Roots Herbal contains active compounds, including triterpenes and polysaccharides, which offer numerous benefits for calming nervousness, combating insomnia and stimulating the appetite.

Reishi is a precious ally in supporting energy and physical stamina.

New Roots Herbal offers reishi in capsules, powder but also in slices to make herbal tea. Sliced reishi can also be added to soup recipes.

Duration of use: For immune support: Use for a minimum of 4 weeks to see beneficial effects..1

5 essential for a healthy winter healthy Zinc

Visit zinc is an important mineral for the immune system. It helps regulate the immune system by maintaining the production of white blood cells (T lymphocytes). 

Good sources of zinc in the diet include beef, chicken, lamb, pumpkin seeds, squash, asparagus and mushrooms..1, 2, 4, 6

5 essential for a winter winter: Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is one of the most powerful aromatic plants, with its active ingredient carvacrol. Oregano oil from New Roots Herbal (Wild oregano C93) is wild-grown, sustainably sourced and comes from the Mediterranean region.

Studies have shown its antimicrobial properties to protect against infectious micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi and parasites. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities, perfect during cold and flu season to support the immune system and relieve respiratory difficulties.

We useoregano oil when symptoms of a weakened immune system are present, to reap its benefits. Its use is reserved for people aged 12 and over, and should be avoided by pregnant and breast-feeding women. Oregano essential oil is used for short periods (7 to 10 days maximum)..4, 5

When illness strikes, you need to act as soon as the first symptoms appear - it will make a big difference! 

About the author

Marie Couture, Certified Naturopath

Specialized in :

  • Digestive disorders
  •  Inflammation
  • Hormonal problems
  • Stress management

References :

  1. Arsenault Céline, La grippe dans tous ses états, Le Dauphin Blanc, 2010, 111 pages
  1. Brown Ellen, Strengthen your immune systemBroquet, 2009, 208 pages
  1. Simard Elisabeth, Simply livingGuy Saint-Jean, 2018, pages
  1. https://newrootsherbal.com/immunity
  1. Compact flower oregano essential oil: a weapon against infections, Vitalité Québec, Stéphanie Plamondon Ac., M.Sc. Certified Aromatherapist
  1. https://www.passeportsante.net/fr/parties-corps/Fiche.aspx?doc=lymphocytes
  1. https://www.brunet.ca/sante/conseils-sante/vitamine-d-bienfaits/
  1. De la vitamine D pas juste du soleil, Fleurir, Guillaume Landry, MSc, naturopath
  1. Immune Support Prevent Colds and Flu, Dr. Heidi Fritz MA, ND, Fleurir
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