Well we are having some proper winter weather including plenty of rain which is great! And we're having another year of extremely low reports of influenza (388 in total in Australia as of 4th July 2021). However, there are still other viruses around in winter including cold viruses (often rhinoviruses) and coronaviruses.
No matter what viruses are going around, one thing I'm hoping we are all learning (or remembering) is that our best defense is first and foremost to look after our immune system so that our immune system can look after us. So just what do we need to consider to allow our immune systems to be in tip-top shape? In no particular order:
Nutrition (a diet based on plants and whole foods) including supplementation
Fresh air/time outdoors/time away from devices
Connection with community/nature/spirituality
Addressing emotional/mental stressors
I genuinely feel from both personal and professional experience that all of the above are equally important. We can eat a great diet and exercise well but if we don't address the communication issues with our partner it will take a huge emotional and mental toll which will suppress our immune system. If you have a very stressful job but you want to continue with it you need to take extra care of all the other points so that the immune system can bounce back at the end of each day.
If there is one point that jumps out at you when you scan the list, start working with that. I'm going to touch on basic supplementation that may help the immune system. This is a general list - please take responsibility for your own health and ask your health practitioner for advice where appropriate.
Daily: (please note the different units, mg = milligrams, mcg = micrograms)
Vit C - 1000mg
Vit D - 3000IU (choose one with Vit K as well if you can e.g. Bioceuticals Vit D & K spray)
Omega 3 Algae derived - 250mg (unless you eat oily fish twice a week)
Iodine - 150mcg (unless you eat a lot of seaweed or use iodised salt)
B12 - only needed if you eat a vegan diet - 50mcg (or 2000mcg once/week)
When under extra stress (it could be physical e.g. doing a lot of training or manual labour, emotional e.g. relationship strain or mental e.g. studying for exams):
Magnesium - 400mg (avoid magnesium oxide)
Vit B complex
Now your question is - what are the best brands? Here are some of my favourites but there are quite a few good brands out there. Chat with your practitioner, health food shop naturopath or pharmacist for advice.
Practitioner only brands:
Free Spirit Mega Omega (Algae derived Omega 3)
Let me know if you have any questions about which supplements may be best for you at your next appointment.