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How to keep healthy this autumn

How to keep healthy this autumn

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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As we start to embrace the shift into the cooler days of autumn, our attention turns to preparing for the winter ahead. We may not be squirrels gathering nuts, but we can stockpile nutrients and goodness to help us stay healthy in the season to come.

Here are six tips to help boost your immunity before winter arrives:

Invest in the building blocks of good health

Vitamins and minerals are the foundation of good health - without the proper balance of nutrients, our immune systems can’t keep up. Pay special attention to your potential needs for zinc, selenium, iodine, and Vitamins A and C.

Try to eat more nuts and seeds, seaweed, fresh fruits, berries and brightly coloured root veggies; they’re all great sources of these nutrients.

Keep up the sun

Even when the temperature starts dropping, it’s essential to get outdoors and get moving. Exercise, green spaces, and Vitamin D from the sun are all essential for good immune function.

Vitamin D is especially protective against coughs and colds. If you usually get winter bugs, stock up on sunshine.

Remember the essential basics

Other than nutrition, the basic care we give ourselves every day is the best immune support around:

  • A good mental attitude and freedom from excessive stress is key.
  • Great sleep is the cornerstone of great health.

These things may seem simple but for many of us, they’re a work in progress! Getting them right can make a huge difference to our overall wellbeing.

Include plenty of garden goodness

Studies show that the greater the diversity in a person’s garden, the stronger their immune function. Fresh herbs are high in essential minerals and antioxidants - natural immune boosters. Get growing!

Great herbs for your immune health include thyme. It’s an immune-boosting star, as it helps to reduce mucus while also helping to deal with unwanted bugs that may be causing the problems.

Parsley is a winter favourite too, as it’s so high in iron and vitamin C - sprinkle it on everything or make a pesto with immune-boosting garlic and lemons.

Opt for prevention rather than cure

There’s no better herb to ramp up your immune function and keep you well than Echinacea. Studies have repeatedly shown Echinacea’s ability to enhance white blood cell production ; those that destroy unwanted bacteria, viruses and pathogens circulating in the bloodstream.

Root extracts are the best way to take Echinacea, as they have the highest amount of the active constituent alkylamides. These are the little molecules responsible for enhancing immune function, and also the same ones that give good quality Echinacea extracts that distinctive tingle on the tongue.

Echinacea is suitable for all ages. A single preventative dose can be tripled or quadrupled in frequency if a lurgy does get through the defences.

Try some herbal help

Herbs are about so much more than cooking. Medicinal herbs are powerhouses of immune support.  When grown and manufactured properly, they’re potent treatments for both prevention and treatment of immune assaults.

Kiwiherb Organic Echinature® and Kiwiherb Organic Children’s Echinature® offer excellent daily immune support. They can be added to drink bottles and sipped throughout the day or taken as a single dose in the morning to support a healthy immune system.

Kiwiherb Herbal Throat Spray offers soothing for a dry, scratchy throat especially for that first tingle! For wee ones,Kiwiherb Organic Children’s Throat Formula is the yummiest upper respiratory support around, designed to soothe dry tickly throats.!