There are so many demands on our poor, overworked immune systems at this time of year, from dealing with viruses to helping repair the excesses caused by the odd cheeky glass of wine. With so little sunshine at the moment, it’s up to us to look after our immune systems so they can look after us.
Christmas is wonderful – but it can be a bit stressful. Cooking, gift buying, late night socialising and general running around can overload our adrenal glands and play havoc with our levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’. Unbalanced cortisol levels can lead to regular infections, inflammation or allergies, and our immune systems just can’t cope, particularly as alcohol can further deplete our reserves during the festive period.
Many of us try to fight or stave off illness by taking huge doses of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a vital part of a healthy diet, and as it’s water soluble our bodies absorb what they need then flush out any excess. However, taking more won’t necessarily do you any extra good – if you take massive doses (above 2000mg), it could give you gastrointestinal problems as your body gets rid of the excess. It could also cause cramp, bloating, nausea and diarrhoea, so only take the recommended daily allowance to get the full benefits.
If you’d like to give your immune system a helping hand, why not take a probiotic supplement? Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that can help to support an overworked digestive system, a particular problem around Christmas. Normal, healthy digestion involves hundreds of different species of bacteria, and maintaining a good balance of ‘good’ bacteria can help boost your immune system too. We now stock probiotics at The Complete Health Clinic, so do your gut a favour next time you come in!
To sail through the festive season and be that annoying person who never gets ill, eat a healthy diet, including lots of fruit and vegetables. Take regular exercise, preferably in the fresh air, and catch up on sleep whenever you can. For a quick and easy health boost, drink plenty of water. Constant central heating and wearing lots of layers all the time can dehydrate skin and leave it looking dry and flaky. Book in now for a series of colonic hydrotherapy treatments in the new year to help flush out any remaining toxins.
For more hints and tips on how to survive the festive season, visit our Facebook page, The Complete Health Clinic, or follow me on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.