Our health and immunity are at the forefront of our minds – and the news – more than ever before. While so much of the last few months has been out of our control, our diet and lifestyles are one thing we can take charge of.
Leading Nutritionist Patrick Holford is a pioneer in natural approaches to fighting infections. In the 80s he founded the Institute for Optimum Nutrition which has a degree-accredited training in nutritional therapy. He is a best-selling author of over 40 books and his new book Flu Fighters: How To Win The Cold War By Boosting Your Natural Immunity With Non-Toxic Nutrients – is available now throughout health food stores across Ireland and via Amazon.com.
Patrick believes the humble Vitamin C is a weapon we should all have in our armoury and celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Cute Blanchett seem to agree. Leonardo DiCaprio is also rumoured to shower in Vitamin C infused water, which is also a staple in the MGM Grand Hotel.
Hailed as a miracle worker for fighting infections, colds and strengthening our immune systems, Vitamin C is also considered a Holy Grail ingredient in many beloved beauty products. Revered as an antidote to dullness, redness, aiding collagen production, wound healing and generally boosting the bleakness of the skin, a growing number of popular beauty and skincare products now contain generous amounts of this natural ingredient, sure to leave you with clearer, brighter and smoother results.
According to Patrick Holford: “Vitamin C is not only a great immune system booster. It is also known to lower the risk of heart disease and disease, as well as being vital for healthy skin and the body’s most powerful anti-ageing antioxidant. That’s why I take it every day”.
Vitamin C is available in capsule and soluble solution form. We can also top up our intake by eating Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, such lemons, grapefruit, broccoli and oranges. This wonder worker serves as a primary ingredient of collagen and the ultimate flu fighter and in recent years, Vitamin C has made its way from the kitchen blender to pride of place in cosmetic cabinets.
Patrick’s top tips to increase our immune system and fight off all manner of infections and colds:
- Ensure you always take 1,000mg (1 gram) of Vitamin C, twice a day. The best way to ensure you get this amount is via Vitamin C capsules, and if you can find one with added Zinc in it all the better. If you were to ingest 2,000mg of Vitamin C it would take up to 25 Oranges.
- If you unfortunately get any symptoms of a cold or flu, be it an itchy throat, blocked or runny nose, take 2 grams (2,000mg) of Vitamin C immediately, then 1g (1,000mg) every hour until the symptoms go away.
- Have a flu fighting cocktail of strong ginger and lemon juice to hand, ensuring it contains at least the juice of half a lemon. With the help of a juicer, you can easily store the ginger and lemon juice in an ice cube tray, making it easy to reach for when you need it. Should you also have some Vitamin C powder to add, add a flat teaspoon into the ginger and lemon drink for added benefits. If you want a hint of sweetness, add a little honey and Agave syrup.
- Snack on the right foods – if you are in the mood for a sugary hit, eat a handful of berries, which contain more Vitamin C than oranges, as does broccoli.
- Drink blueberry juice – Blueberry Active is a pure concentrate, which is naturally high in Vitamin C. You can drink this hot or cold, and also use in your ginger and lemon drink instead of honey.
- Stay warm – have a hot bath and preserve your energy when you’re fighting an infection.