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Boosting the Immune System



By Stephen Eddey Principle of Health Schools Australia QLD and qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath.

Many people think that it’s the cold weather that makes us more susceptible to colds, flu and respiratory infections, but that’s not actually the case. A bigger issue is that during the colder weather we’re more inclined to stay indoors, where it’s warm and toasty.

Unfortunately, that means we’re in closer and more constant proximity to other people. If someone around us gets sick, we’re consequently more likely to catch their infection. To prevent this from happening we need to boost our immune system so that it’s ready to fight the front-line with a good defence.

Why is Olive Leaf Extract essential for the winter months?

Olive leaves have been traditionally used to enhance the functioning of the immune system and aid the management of viral infections, especially when fever is present.

Taking olive leaf extract may be an important measure for supporting your immune system and helping reduce your likelihood of being affected by colds and the flu this winter.

Can you get the same benefits from Olive Leaf Extract as eating normal olives?

In a limited way, you can get the same benefits from eating normal olives. The heart health benefits of consuming olive oil in the classic ‘Mediterranean Diet’ are well documented. However, an Olive Leaf Extract made directly from fresh-picked leaves – and the freshness is very important – contains up to forty times the amount of healing compounds that are in olives and olive oil. So, it’s like a Mediterranean Diet concentrate.

How does Olive Leaf Extract compare with other traditional cold and flu season supplements (such as vitamin C)?

Olive Leaf Extract has a higher antioxidant power than many of the traditional cold and flu season supplements. Research has identified the olive leaf as the most powerful, free radical-scavenging antioxidant of 55 medicinal herbs. There was another significant study in 2005 whereby fresh-picked Olive Leaf Extract antioxidant was tested and found to be 400 per cent more powerful than vitamin C.

What are your top 5 tips for staying healthy this winter?

1. Make sure you have Olive Leaf Extract handy. It is important to take Olive Leaf as soon as you feel the onset of a cold or flu.

2. Eat well. Eat plenty of green vegetables, protein foods such as fish, meats and chicken, and avoid junk food and refined carbohydrates.

3. Exercise daily. Just because the temperature plummets, your exercise levels shouldn’t.

4. See your doctor for a regular blood test. He or she can determine key blood levels of nutrients such as vitamin D and also cancer markers and immune markers. If these are detected early, they can be corrected.

5. Get out in the sun when you can. While excessive sunlight is dangerous, during winter if it is a sunny day, make the most of it. For example, go for a walk at lunchtime in the middle of the day to maximise your sun exposure.