Supplements for the Party Season
With Christmas and New Year’s celebrations just around the corner, most of us will be enjoying plenty of food and the odd drink. The down side of the festive fun is that our bodies generally take in more calories than normal, and our immunity and detoxification organs are put under extra pressure.
The good news is that there are a few natural supplements that can help maintain a healthy immune system to help get through the party season.
Milk thistle is commonly used as a liver tonic. This herb is found as an ingredient in many modern detox supplements. This is mainly due to its effect on the liver, as the liver is one of the main organs for natural detoxification.
The liver is the main organ for processing food, nutrients and fats. It is also a vital organ for neutralising toxins, from pollution, food, alcohol, drugs and medication. Milk thistle helps the liver to neutralise these toxins.
The liver is continuously detoxifying but excessive alcohol intake can slow down the process by depleting levels of glutathione.
This herbal remedy works by preventing the breakdown of glutathione. Glutathione is a peptide that acts as an enzyme in the natural detoxification process of the liver. Milk thistle works by supporting the natural detoxifying action of the liver. Studies have shown that Milk thistle can increase glutathione levels by over 30%.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most widely known and used nutritional supplement. This vitamin is known for its immune boosting effects and is also required for healthy adrenal function, which helps the body cope with stress.
Vitamin C sales are generally at their highest in the autumn and winter months. This is partly down to the immune boosting effects and the wide spread marketing by vitamin companies. There is no harm in taking extra vitamin C throughout the winter months and studies have shown that a dose of 1000mg vitamin C a day can shorten the duration of colds.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we have at our disposal. This vitamin is our main water soluble antioxidant, and can help to fight damage caused by free radicals (e.g. from fried foods and alcohol)
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body. They are essential for proper digestion, preventing overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. Probiotics also improve the absorption of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream.
Probiotics also support the immune system. They do this by lining the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria, which prevents the absorption of harmful bacteria and viruses into the body. These beneficial bacteria “crowd out” the bad bacteria and help to maintain a healthy immune system. As the digestive tract plays a major role in boosting the immune system, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut.
Other supplements that can help to keep you healthy through the festive period are Manuka Honey, Vitamin B complex, Echinacea and Olive leaf extract.
Aside from these supplements, it is vital to maintain good hydration levels, especially if you are drinking alcohol. Aim for around 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, as this can help to flush out toxins and also prevent over eating.