Arm Yourself Against Winter Ailments

People become more susceptible to sickness as the temperature drops. So, how can you best support your immune system to stay healthy in the chilly months ahead?

Get back to basics

Adopting a number of everyday healthy habits will help keep your immune system strong throughout the year. These immune-strengthening practices include:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Enjoying regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drinking alcohol and caffeine in moderation
  • Steering clear of unnecessary stress
  • Getting sufficient sleep

 

Eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates, is equally essential for optimal immunity. In addition, proper hygiene (which includes frequent hand washing and keeping the entire body clean) is crucial for avoiding winter ailments.

 

Drink to ditch disease

Adequate hydration can seriously impact how your immune system functions. For example, drinking enough water helps oxygenate blood, assists the body in expelling harmful toxins and facilitates lymph production, helping to circulate white, infection-fighting blood cells and nutrients to tissues. An added bonus is that drinking water allows the mouth and eyes to repel dirt, dust and parasites which may cause illness. Proper nutrition is also important for a healthy immune system and drinking water is essential for efficient digestion and healthy absorption of nutrients. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women generally drink 2.7 litres of water a day and men 3.7 litres. Children, on the other hand, need between 5 and 8 cups of water a day – depending on their age and gender.

Green tea is another beverage with immune boosting benefits due to powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are believed to help fight infection. In fact, clinical studies suggest that particular types of these antioxidants, known as catechins, may actually kill flu viruses. A cup of steaming ginger tea is another way to strengthen the body against infection because this powerful root helps break down toxins in the organs – specifically the lungs and sinuses. Ginger is also believed to help cleanse the lymphatic system, thus preventing the accumulation of toxins which can increase the body’s risk of infection.

 

Eat immune-boosting foods

Feeding your system with immune–boosting foods is another powerful weapon against seasonal infections. Try the following foods to fortify you, from the inside out:

  • Garlic – contains calcium, vitamins B1, B6 and C, iron, potassium and over 100 sulphuric compounds (specifically the immune-boosting compound known as allicin) which help eradicate bacteria.
  • Onions – rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, allicin and quercetin, an antioxidant that breaks up mucus and boosts the immune system.
  • Mushrooms – increase the production of cytokines (cells that help fight off infection) and contain compounds called polysaccharides, which support the immune system.
  • Citrus fruits – packed with vitamin C, which helps fight bacteria and viruses and combats free radicals. Other foods rich in vitamin C include butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, papaya, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and bell peppers.
  • Yoghurt – contains the probiotic known as Lactobacillus reuteri, which helps the body block viruses and stimulates white blood cell production.
  • Wholegrains (like oats & barley) – contain the fibre called beta-glucan, which has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities, boosting immunity, speeding the healing of wounds and helping antibiotics to work more effectively.
  • Shellfish – contains selenium which helps white blood cells produce cytokines, the proteins that help eradicate flu viruses from the body.
  • Omega-3-rich fish (like salmon, mackerel and herring) – helps reduce inflammation, increase airflow and protect the body from colds and respiratory infections.
  • Avocado – contains immune-boosting amino acids and antioxidants and is rich in healthy fats to balance hormone production.

Make sleep a priority

A study conducted by a team from the University of Tübingen in Germany*, found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialised immune cells called T cells. These cells contribute to the body’s immune response when a potentially harmful foreign body enters the system. So, aim to get around 7–9 hours of sleep a night for maximum restoration and immunity. If you do find yourself tossing and turning at night, why not try a natural sleep supplement to nod off more easily?

Melatonin is a hormone primarily responsible for regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle. “5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor of melatonin and can reproduce most of the effects of melatonin,” explains Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch. “The following products can therefore assist with natural production of melatonin: Zyora™ Zymood™ 5-HTP with QUATREFOLIC®, Solal® 5-HTP, Biogen 5-HTP NEURO and Holistix 5-HTP,” she adds. Dis‑Chem stocks a broad range of supplements to assist with sleep but, as always, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before investing in an appropriate product.

Invest in smart supplements

Taking immune-boosting supplements is another way to ensure good health in any season. Johanna Stoltz recommends some products, available at your local Dis-Chem branch, to give you an immunity edge this sniffle season. “For instance, Zyora™Zymune® contains a combination of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D3,” explains Johanna. “Zinc assists in the production of new immune system cells, vitamin C may shorten or prevent the stay of infections and vitamin D can assist in decreasing the chances of respiratory tract infections.” She also recommends A. Vogel Enchinaforce®, which boasts anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

“Alternatively, Vir-Away capsules and syrup contain a potent mixture of Echinacea, garlic and vitamins – including vitamin C and vitamin D – as well as zinc and other minerals,” says Johanna. She also suggests trying Biogen Immuno Boost effervescent and powder, which contain Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc. “The powder form also contains vitamin D,” she adds.

Affordable Plusssz Cold and Flu effervescent tablets, which contain a blend of vitamins, such as vitamin C and B, and zinc and elderberry, are also a good supplement option. “Elderberry has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and can also assist in reducing swelling in mucous membranes,” Johanna elaborates. As always, just remember to consult with a medical practitioner or your Dis‑Chem pharmacist before taking any supplement.

Falling ill is never fun. So, take steps to strengthen your body’s immune system well before winter’s arrival and ensure peak health and vitality in the chilly months ahead.

Stress less

Stress causes the body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost immunity by limiting inflammation, when released in short bursts. However, the body can get used to having too much cortisol in the blood over time, worsening inflammation. Stress can also decrease white blood cells know as lymphocytes, making you more vulnerable to viral infections. In addition, chronic stress is linked to depression and anxiety which, in turn, can exacerbate inflammation, compromising immunity over time. Protect your immunity with the following stress-busting strategies:

• Exercise regularly

• Eat a nutritious diet

• Get sufficient sleep

• Enjoy regular meditation

• Connect with others

• Regularly participate in relaxing activities

• Focus on deep breathing when feeling overwhelmed

Power up on probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that line the digestive tract and are also found in certain foods and supplements. Experts believe that around 70% of our immune function takes place in the intestinal tract, where probiotic bacteria activates immune cells important for fighting and preventing infection. Probiotics also compete with harmful bacteria for food in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing them from multiplying and causing disease. Additionally, probiotics prevent deficiencies that compromise immunity and may help protect against certain cancers. Furthermore, they prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu and help strengthen a weakened immune system.

Adding probiotic-rich foods and drinks to your diet is an easy way to give gut bacteria a boost and to keep the digestive system properly balanced. Probiotics obtained from foods are also more readily available for absorption and digestion. Probiotic-rich foods to nourish healthy gut bacteria include:

  • live-cultured yoghurt
  • kefir
  • miso
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • aged cheeses
  • olives
  • spirulina
  • chlorella
  • blue-green algae
  • pickled vegetables
  • soy milk

While getting probiotics from food is always best, probiotic supplements may also be used when your dietary intake falls short. Dis‑Chem stocks a wide range of probiotic supplements including those by respected brands like, Biogen, Entiro™ Foodstate®, GastroChoice™, Healthy Living, Probiflora™, Interflora, Solal™ and our own Dis‑Chem Lifestyle Nutrition brand. However, whilst studies indicate that probiotics have a positive effect on the body, it is always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider prior to taking a supplement.

Sources: *S. Dimitrov,T. Lange, C. Gouttefangeas, A T.R. Jensen, M. Szczepanski, J. Lehnnolz, Surjo Soekadar. H. Rammensee, J. Born, L. Besedovsky, “Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cell” Published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, February 12 2019.  /  Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch  /  www.webmd.com  /  www.healthline.com  /  http://ajcn.nutrition.org  /  https://draxe.com  /  www.prescript-assist.com  /  www.livestrong.com  /  www.naturesway.com.au  /  www.prevention.com  /  www.huffpost.com  /  www.health.harvard.edu  /  www.msn.com  /  www.eatlifewhole.com  /  www.dailymail.co.uk  /  www.healthfree.com  /  www.clevelandclinic.org  /  www.fitday.com  /  www.medicalnewstoday.com  /  www.doctoroz.com  /  www.healthcoachdoctor.com  /  www.dochealthtips.com  /  www.sleepfoundation.org

References are available on request. Go to www.probiflora.co.za for product and company legals.  202010221065930

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Copyright © Dis-Chem Pharmacies. All rights reserved.

Arm Yourself Against Winter Ailments

People become more susceptible to sickness as the temperature drops. So, how can you best support your immune system to stay healthy in the chilly months ahead?

Get back to basics

Adopting a number of everyday healthy habits will help keep your immune system strong throughout the year. These immune-strengthening practices include:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Enjoying regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drinking alcohol and caffeine in moderation
  • Steering clear of unnecessary stress
  • Getting sufficient sleep

 

Eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates, is equally essential for optimal immunity. In addition, proper hygiene (which includes frequent hand washing and keeping the entire body clean) is crucial for avoiding winter ailments.

 

Drink to ditch disease

Adequate hydration can seriously impact how your immune system functions. For example, drinking enough water helps oxygenate blood, assists the body in expelling harmful toxins and facilitates lymph production, helping to circulate white, infection-fighting blood cells and nutrients to tissues. An added bonus is that drinking water allows the mouth and eyes to repel dirt, dust and parasites which may cause illness. Proper nutrition is also important for a healthy immune system and drinking water is essential for efficient digestion and healthy absorption of nutrients. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women generally drink 2.7 litres of water a day and men 3.7 litres. Children, on the other hand, need between 5 and 8 cups of water a day – depending on their age and gender.

Green tea is another beverage with immune boosting benefits due to powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are believed to help fight infection. In fact, clinical studies suggest that particular types of these antioxidants, known as catechins, may actually kill flu viruses. A cup of steaming ginger tea is another way to strengthen the body against infection because this powerful root helps break down toxins in the organs – specifically the lungs and sinuses. Ginger is also believed to help cleanse the lymphatic system, thus preventing the accumulation of toxins which can increase the body’s risk of infection.

 

Eat immune-boosting foods

Feeding your system with immune–boosting foods is another powerful weapon against seasonal infections. Try the following foods to fortify you, from the inside out:

  • Garlic – contains calcium, vitamins B1, B6 and C, iron, potassium and over 100 sulphuric compounds (specifically the immune-boosting compound known as allicin) which help eradicate bacteria.
  • Onions – rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, allicin and quercetin, an antioxidant that breaks up mucus and boosts the immune system.
  • Mushrooms – increase the production of cytokines (cells that help fight off infection) and contain compounds called polysaccharides, which support the immune system.
  • Citrus fruits – packed with vitamin C, which helps fight bacteria and viruses and combats free radicals. Other foods rich in vitamin C include butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, papaya, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and bell peppers.
  • Yoghurt – contains the probiotic known as Lactobacillus reuteri, which helps the body block viruses and stimulates white blood cell production.
  • Wholegrains (like oats & barley) – contain the fibre called beta-glucan, which has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities, boosting immunity, speeding the healing of wounds and helping antibiotics to work more effectively.
  • Shellfish – contains selenium which helps white blood cells produce cytokines, the proteins that help eradicate flu viruses from the body.
  • Omega-3-rich fish (like salmon, mackerel and herring) – helps reduce inflammation, increase airflow and protect the body from colds and respiratory infections.
  • Avocado – contains immune-boosting amino acids and antioxidants and is rich in healthy fats to balance hormone production.

Make sleep a priority

A study conducted by a team from the University of Tübingen in Germany*, found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialised immune cells called T cells. These cells contribute to the body’s immune response when a potentially harmful foreign body enters the system. So, aim to get around 7–9 hours of sleep a night for maximum restoration and immunity. If you do find yourself tossing and turning at night, why not try a natural sleep supplement to nod off more easily?

Melatonin is a hormone primarily responsible for regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle. “5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor of melatonin and can reproduce most of the effects of melatonin,” explains Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch. “The following products can therefore assist with natural production of melatonin: Zyora™ Zymood™ 5-HTP with QUATREFOLIC®, Solal® 5-HTP, Biogen 5-HTP NEURO and Holistix 5-HTP,” she adds. Dis‑Chem stocks a broad range of supplements to assist with sleep but, as always, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before investing in an appropriate product.

Invest in smart supplements

Taking immune-boosting supplements is another way to ensure good health in any season. Johanna Stoltz recommends some products, available at your local Dis-Chem branch, to give you an immunity edge this sniffle season. “For instance, Zyora™Zymune® contains a combination of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D3,” explains Johanna. “Zinc assists in the production of new immune system cells, vitamin C may shorten or prevent the stay of infections and vitamin D can assist in decreasing the chances of respiratory tract infections.” She also recommends A. Vogel Enchinaforce®, which boasts anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

“Alternatively, Vir-Away capsules and syrup contain a potent mixture of Echinacea, garlic and vitamins – including vitamin C and vitamin D – as well as zinc and other minerals,” says Johanna. She also suggests trying Biogen Immuno Boost effervescent and powder, which contain Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc. “The powder form also contains vitamin D,” she adds.

Affordable Plusssz Cold and Flu effervescent tablets, which contain a blend of vitamins, such as vitamin C and B, and zinc and elderberry, are also a good supplement option. “Elderberry has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and can also assist in reducing swelling in mucous membranes,” Johanna elaborates. As always, just remember to consult with a medical practitioner or your Dis‑Chem pharmacist before taking any supplement.

Falling ill is never fun. So, take steps to strengthen your body’s immune system well before winter’s arrival and ensure peak health and vitality in the chilly months ahead.

Stress less

Stress causes the body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost immunity by limiting inflammation, when released in short bursts. However, the body can get used to having too much cortisol in the blood over time, worsening inflammation. Stress can also decrease white blood cells know as lymphocytes, making you more vulnerable to viral infections. In addition, chronic stress is linked to depression and anxiety which, in turn, can exacerbate inflammation, compromising immunity over time. Protect your immunity with the following stress-busting strategies:

• Exercise regularly

• Eat a nutritious diet

• Get sufficient sleep

• Enjoy regular meditation

• Connect with others

• Regularly participate in relaxing activities

• Focus on deep breathing when feeling overwhelmed

Power up on probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that line the digestive tract and are also found in certain foods and supplements. Experts believe that around 70% of our immune function takes place in the intestinal tract, where probiotic bacteria activates immune cells important for fighting and preventing infection. Probiotics also compete with harmful bacteria for food in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing them from multiplying and causing disease. Additionally, probiotics prevent deficiencies that compromise immunity and may help protect against certain cancers. Furthermore, they prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu and help strengthen a weakened immune system.

Adding probiotic-rich foods and drinks to your diet is an easy way to give gut bacteria a boost and to keep the digestive system properly balanced. Probiotics obtained from foods are also more readily available for absorption and digestion. Probiotic-rich foods to nourish healthy gut bacteria include:

  • live-cultured yoghurt
  • kefir
  • miso
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • aged cheeses
  • olives
  • spirulina
  • chlorella
  • blue-green algae
  • pickled vegetables
  • soy milk

While getting probiotics from food is always best, probiotic supplements may also be used when your dietary intake falls short. Dis‑Chem stocks a wide range of probiotic supplements including those by respected brands like, Biogen, Entiro™ Foodstate®, GastroChoice™, Healthy Living, Probiflora™, Interflora, Solal™ and our own Dis‑Chem Lifestyle Nutrition brand. However, whilst studies indicate that probiotics have a positive effect on the body, it is always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider prior to taking a supplement.

Sources: *S. Dimitrov,T. Lange, C. Gouttefangeas, A T.R. Jensen, M. Szczepanski, J. Lehnnolz, Surjo Soekadar. H. Rammensee, J. Born, L. Besedovsky, “Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cell” Published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, February 12 2019.  /  Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch  /  www.webmd.com  /  www.healthline.com  /  http://ajcn.nutrition.org  /  https://draxe.com  /  www.prescript-assist.com  /  www.livestrong.com  /  www.naturesway.com.au  /  www.prevention.com  /  www.huffpost.com  /  www.health.harvard.edu  /  www.msn.com  /  www.eatlifewhole.com  /  www.dailymail.co.uk  /  www.healthfree.com  /  www.clevelandclinic.org  /  www.fitday.com  /  www.medicalnewstoday.com  /  www.doctoroz.com  /  www.healthcoachdoctor.com  /  www.dochealthtips.com  /  www.sleepfoundation.org

References are available on request. Go to www.probiflora.co.za for product and company legals.  202010221065930

Arm Yourself Against Winter Ailments

People become more susceptible to sickness as the temperature drops. So, how can you best support your immune system to stay healthy in the chilly months ahead?

Get back to basics

Adopting a number of everyday healthy habits will help keep your immune system strong throughout the year. These immune-strengthening practices include:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Enjoying regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drinking alcohol and caffeine in moderation
  • Steering clear of unnecessary stress
  • Getting sufficient sleep

 

Eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates, is equally essential for optimal immunity. In addition, proper hygiene (which includes frequent hand washing and keeping the entire body clean) is crucial for avoiding winter ailments.

 

 

Drink to ditch disease

Adequate hydration can seriously impact how your immune system functions. For example, drinking enough water helps oxygenate blood, assists the body in expelling harmful toxins and facilitates lymph production, helping to circulate white, infection-fighting blood cells and nutrients to tissues. An added bonus is that drinking water allows the mouth and eyes to repel dirt, dust and parasites which may cause illness. Proper nutrition is also important for a healthy immune system and drinking water is essential for efficient digestion and healthy absorption of nutrients. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women generally drink 2.7 litres of water a day and men 3.7 litres. Children, on the other hand, need between 5 and 8 cups of water a day – depending on their age and gender.

Green tea is another beverage with immune boosting benefits due to powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are believed to help fight infection. In fact, clinical studies suggest that particular types of these antioxidants, known as catechins, may actually kill flu viruses. A cup of steaming ginger tea is another way to strengthen the body against infection because this powerful root helps break down toxins in the organs – specifically the lungs and sinuses. Ginger is also believed to help cleanse the lymphatic system, thus preventing the accumulation of toxins which can increase the body’s risk of infection.

 

Eat immune-boosting foods

Feeding your system with immune–boosting foods is another powerful weapon against seasonal infections. Try the following foods to fortify you, from the inside out:

  • Garlic – contains calcium, vitamins B1, B6 and C, iron, potassium and over 100 sulphuric compounds (specifically the immune-boosting compound known as allicin) which help eradicate bacteria.
  • Onions – rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, allicin and quercetin, an antioxidant that breaks up mucus and boosts the immune system.
  • Mushrooms – increase the production of cytokines (cells that help fight off infection) and contain compounds called polysaccharides, which support the immune system.
  • Citrus fruits – packed with vitamin C, which helps fight bacteria and viruses and combats free radicals. Other foods rich in vitamin C include butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, papaya, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and bell peppers.
  • Yoghurt – contains the probiotic known as Lactobacillus reuteri, which helps the body block viruses and stimulates white blood cell production.
  • Wholegrains (like oats & barley) – contain the fibre called beta-glucan, which has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities, boosting immunity, speeding the healing of wounds and helping antibiotics to work more effectively.
  • Shellfish – contains selenium which helps white blood cells produce cytokines, the proteins that help eradicate flu viruses from the body.
  • Omega-3-rich fish (like salmon, mackerel and herring) – helps reduce inflammation, increase airflow and protect the body from colds and respiratory infections.
  • Avocado – contains immune-boosting amino acids and antioxidants and is rich in healthy fats to balance hormone production.

 

Make sleep a priority

A study conducted by a team from the University of Tübingen in Germany*, found that a good night’s sleep can boost the effectiveness of certain specialised immune cells called T cells. These cells contribute to the body’s immune response when a potentially harmful foreign body enters the system. So, aim to get around 7–9 hours of sleep a night for maximum restoration and immunity. If you do find yourself tossing and turning at night, why not try a natural sleep supplement to nod off more easily?

Melatonin is a hormone primarily responsible for regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle. “5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor of melatonin and can reproduce most of the effects of melatonin,” explains Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch. “The following products can therefore assist with natural production of melatonin: Zyora™ Zymood™ 5-HTP with QUATREFOLIC®, Solal® 5-HTP, Biogen 5-HTP NEURO and Holistix 5-HTP,” she adds. Dis‑Chem stocks a broad range of supplements to assist with sleep but, as always, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before investing in an appropriate product.

Invest in smart supplements

Taking immune-boosting supplements is another way to ensure good health in any season. Johanna Stoltz recommends some products, available at your local Dis-Chem branch, to give you an immunity edge this sniffle season. “For instance, Zyora™Zymune® contains a combination of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D3,” explains Johanna. “Zinc assists in the production of new immune system cells, vitamin C may shorten or prevent the stay of infections and vitamin D can assist in decreasing the chances of respiratory tract infections.” She also recommends A. Vogel Enchinaforce®, which boasts anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

“Alternatively, Vir-Away capsules and syrup contain a potent mixture of Echinacea, garlic and vitamins – including vitamin C and vitamin D – as well as zinc and other minerals,” says Johanna. She also suggests trying Biogen Immuno Boost effervescent and powder, which contain Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc. “The powder form also contains vitamin D,” she adds.

Affordable Plusssz Cold and Flu effervescent tablets, which contain a blend of vitamins, such as vitamin C and B, and zinc and elderberry, are also a good supplement option. “Elderberry has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and can also assist in reducing swelling in mucous membranes,” Johanna elaborates. As always, just remember to consult with a medical practitioner or your Dis‑Chem pharmacist before taking any supplement.

Falling ill is never fun. So, take steps to strengthen your body’s immune system well before winter’s arrival and ensure peak health and vitality in the chilly months ahead.

Stress less

Stress causes the body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can boost immunity by limiting inflammation, when released in short bursts. However, the body can get used to having too much cortisol in the blood over time, worsening inflammation. Stress can also decrease white blood cells know as lymphocytes, making you more vulnerable to viral infections. In addition, chronic stress is linked to depression and anxiety which, in turn, can exacerbate inflammation, compromising immunity over time. Protect your immunity with the following stress-busting strategies:

• Exercise regularly

• Eat a nutritious diet

• Get sufficient sleep

• Enjoy regular meditation

• Connect with others

• Regularly participate in relaxing activities

• Focus on deep breathing when feeling overwhelmed

Power up on probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that line the digestive tract and are also found in certain foods and supplements. Experts believe that around 70% of our immune function takes place in the intestinal tract, where probiotic bacteria activates immune cells important for fighting and preventing infection. Probiotics also compete with harmful bacteria for food in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing them from multiplying and causing disease. Additionally, probiotics prevent deficiencies that compromise immunity and may help protect against certain cancers. Furthermore, they prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu and help strengthen a weakened immune system.

Adding probiotic-rich foods and drinks to your diet is an easy way to give gut bacteria a boost and to keep the digestive system properly balanced. Probiotics obtained from foods are also more readily available for absorption and digestion. Probiotic-rich foods to nourish healthy gut bacteria include:

  • live-cultured yoghurt
  • kefir
  • miso
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • aged cheeses
  • olives
  • spirulina
  • chlorella
  • blue-green algae
  • pickled vegetables
  • soy milk

 

While getting probiotics from food is always best, probiotic supplements may also be used when your dietary intake falls short. Dis‑Chem stocks a wide range of probiotic supplements including those by respected brands like, Biogen, Entiro™ Foodstate®, GastroChoice™, Healthy Living, Probiflora™, Interflora, Solal™ and our own Dis‑Chem Lifestyle Nutrition brand. However, whilst studies indicate that probiotics have a positive effect on the body, it is always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider prior to taking a supplement.

Sources: *S. Dimitrov,T. Lange, C. Gouttefangeas, A T.R. Jensen, M. Szczepanski, J. Lehnnolz, Surjo Soekadar. H. Rammensee, J. Born, L. Besedovsky, “Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cell” Published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, February 12 2019.  /  Johanna Stoltz, Store Health Manager at Dis‑Chem’s Cresta branch  /  www.webmd.com  /  www.healthline.com  /  http://ajcn.nutrition.org  /  https://draxe.com  /  www.prescript-assist.com  /  www.livestrong.com  /  www.naturesway.com.au  /  www.prevention.com  /  www.huffpost.com  /  www.health.harvard.edu  /  www.msn.com  /  www.eatlifewhole.com  /  www.dailymail.co.uk  /  www.healthfree.com  /  www.clevelandclinic.org  /  www.fitday.com  /  www.medicalnewstoday.com  /  www.doctoroz.com  /  www.healthcoachdoctor.com  /  www.dochealthtips.com  /  www.sleepfoundation.org

References are available on request. Go to www.probiflora.co.za for product and company legals.  202010221065930