Enjoy winter the active way with Vital
Fitness expert, Elana Meyer, former Olympian and leading nutritionist, Andrea du Plessis, tell you how to embrace the cold season
Enjoy winter as much as you enjoy summer. To do this, you need to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Did you know that staying active is one of the tricks to stave off seasonal colds and flu? And Vital, South Africa’s largest vitamin and nutritional supplements manufacturer, has just the right vitamins to keep you fighting fit through the chilly months.
“The body relies on optimum nutrition to protect itself against invading cold and flu viruses as winter arrives,” explains Andrea du Plessis, Vital Health Foods’ nutrition expert. Being active and exercising can increase your body’s needs for Vitamin C with 50% per day.
Vitamin C is therefore a key element in active winter health. “Make sure to up your intake of vitamin C, as combined with the colder temperatures in winter, your body will not have enough vitamin C to prevent and reduce the effects of any infections,” says du Plessis. Vital Maxi C Vitamins contain 1 000 mg of Vitamin C, which, taken twice daily when exercising, will fulfil your daily requirement.
Next, you must build up your immune cells. Zinc is crucial in stimulating the immune system, as it boosts immune-cell production and activity. It’s also essential to maintain zinc quantities during exercise. “Long-term endurance training has been shown to significantly reduce zinc levels, which in turn affects muscle function,” explains Elana Meyer, former Olympian, “so taking a zinc supplement will not only help elevate your immune system, but also help prevent muscle fatigue.”
Another great way to increase immune-cell production and fight illness is to take garlic, which has antimicrobial qualities. “Introducing fresh garlic or a garlic supplement into your diet will help your body combat bacteria that invade and infect sinuses and lungs,” says Du Plessis. Garlic is extremely effective at deactivating certain enzymes that are needed to help bacteria multiply.
And if you do come down with a cold or the flu, you can help reduce the severity and duration of the infection by taking vitamin C, which also guards immune cells against degeneration during the illness.
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