The transition of seasons as we head into autumn and winter is a time when your body is particularly vulnerable to colds, coughs and flu. More time spent indoors as the nights draw in results in increased exposure to germs and less sunlight, which is needed for Vitamin D production. At the same time your body’s natural defences are lowered as a result of the cold and a more sedentary lifestyle; with this combination perhaps it’s no surprise that colds are far more likely. Therefore it’s important to support immune function all year round to prevent illness in winter/this season.

There are a number of reasons why you may have low immunity. Stress levels, diet and lifestyle habits all affect immune health, although nutrient deficiency is the most frequent cause.

Lifestyle factors play a major role in your immune status. Lack of exercise weakens your immune system, which is partially why we are more susceptible to colds after going into ‘hibernation’ curled up on the sofa during winter! Meanwhile, sleep deprivation can greatly lower immune function and puts your body into a stress state.

Diet also plays a huge part. Low levels of antioxidants and immune supporting nutrients, such as Vitamin C, D, Selenium, and Zinc compromise your immune system. An insufficient intake of quality protein can, in turn, reduce the production of immune cells.

You may also want to stop yourself reaching for that extra coffee to help you feel more awake on dark mornings. Caffeine consumption blocks absorption of nutrients important for immunity, and moreover can also trigger the release of cortisol, which reduces immune function. High stress levels also elevate cortisol, so remember to try and stay relaxed.

Whilst antioxidants, immune-friendly nutrients and adequate protein form the foundation of an immunity-strengthening diet, eating more naturally can also help your body’s natural defences. Refined foods and sugars create an acidic environment that is conducive to bacterial growth, so including plenty of fresh produce in your diet will always give your immune system a boost.

Taking a supplement of antioxidants and immune-boosting nutrients throughout the year is another way to ensure your immune system is strengthened for winter. Bee propolis, elderberry and olive leaf extracts, beta glucans and reishi mushroom are not found in a normal diet but have proven antibacterial and antiviral properties. BEE Prepared Immune Support contains a potent combination of all of these nutrients, helping to keep your antioxidant levels topped up all year round.