It’s definitely entered winter bug season. I am currently fighting off a head cold unfortunately, although I have to say I suffer from a lot less colds now than I used to. Eating a well balanced healthy diet with lots of colourful fruit and veg is the best way of keeping your immune system strong, but as I have written here on the blog many times, due to lots of different factors, food alone is sometimes not enough. Especially as we enter the holiday season, my intake of fruit and veg drops ever so slightly in favour of wine, chocolate and cheese, so I know I could do with a boost!
There’s a lot of different supplements out there that claim to support your immune system, so I was especially interested to find out more about Beta Glucans because I had never came across them before.
So what are they and how do they work? This video helps to explain more, but basically Beta Glucans are a kind of glucose molecule derived from a very highly refined and purified version of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or bakers yeast. There are different forms of beta glucans, some of which support the digestive system and lower cholesterol, however only the 1-3, 1-6 form of beta glucans (found in yeast) support immune function specifically. These molecules activate an immune response within the body, so when taken on a regular basis they maximise your immune systems ability to fight infection. Although beta glucans are found in yeast, these supplements are safe for people with a yeast allergy or intolerance.
I was actually quite amazed at the body of very positive research on Beta Glucans, and therefore surprised that I had never came across them before! This most recent research shows that beta glucans reduced the number of symptomatic common cold infections.
Here in the UK, Vitalize Health produce a range of supplements containing Beta Glucans which includes:
- Glucasan + is suitable for adults and children and contains additional vitamins and minerals. £22.99 for 60 capsules
- Glucamune contains no additional vitamins or minerals so perfect for children and adults who already take vitamin and mineral supplements. £19.95 for 45 capsules
- Betamune 75 has a high BG linkage suitable for those taking higher doses. £34.75 for 75 capsules
The supplements are gold screened for use by athletes and a lot of Premier League Football players take them. It’s worth remembering that although moderate exercise supports a healthy immune system, intense exercise such as marathon training, can compromise it. The supplements are available at www.vitalizehealth.co.uk, Tesco Nutricentres and Wholefoods stores.
Of course, a good diet should always come before supplements, but if you feel like you need a boost for your immune system then these could be worth a try. I’m popping a couple of capsules a day to try and fight off this cold quicker!
Have you heard of beta glucans before? How do you take care of your immune system at this time of year?
*sponsored post, all content and opinions are my own
Since working at Holland & Barrett I’ve been a big believer in a combination of B vits & echinacea to ward off coughs, colds & all manner of winter nasties, as well as a spoonful of manuka honey straight up a couple of times a week for its anti inflammatory & antibacterial properties.
However the best tip i know of is to keep as hydrated as possible at all times as this not only seems to help stop winter bugs in their tracks but is also brilliant for your skin at this time of year when everyone has their heating on.
I’m glad you mentioned manuka honey, I need to restock! So right on keeping hydrated, I’ve just had a big green smoothie and feel great for it :-)
I’m fighting against an evil sore throat at the minute. I swear by echinacea, ginger and garlic. I’ve been making sure I get in loads of fruit/veggies including greens smoothies! We used to recommend beta glucans to people for immunity all the time when I worked in a health store, particularly if people are very run down, people who get cold sores often really benefit from taking it too.
At the moment I can’t afford supplements or much fruit and veg (and I’ve always eaten lots of them). My food budget is about £5 a week. Is there anything you’d recommend to help keep my immune system healthy?
Only £5 a week! That is very low indeed, do you know if you have any food banks close to you? I’m honestly not sure how you could survive on less than £1 a day. I would say you can make the most of your budget my going to places like Aldi and getting their fruit and veg on offer when you can. Brown rice, plain oats and dried beans that the soak and cook yourself are some of the healthiest budget friendly foods. But if your budget is just £5 that’s well below the poverty line, you should be able to get some benefits or assistance from a local charity – if you google your town and ‘food banks’ you should be able to find something. I really hope that helps, you should definitely be able to get some further financial support xxx
I’m on ESA. I do also get housing and council tax benefit, but they don’t cover the full cost of the bills. I’ve recently cancelled my home Internet (and landline) and I don’t have a TV. So hopefully will have slightly more money soon (should give me £10 a week for food) but having to put £25 a week on my gas meter and £10 on the electric (I have a combi boiler).
Food banks are only supposed to give you food for three days in an emergency. They’re not there for permanent use, and you have to be referred by a GP or job centre, etc. I have some tinned and dry stuff, and frozen, from when I was working and had an income. But I know fresh food is where you get most nutrients. My skin is already suffering from the reduction of fruit and veg I eat.
I have been buying the £1 bags of apples, carrots, onions and potatoes for. The supermarket and make them last me two weeks. But I got a cold recently so I know my immune system is suffering.
Thanks for your suggestions. :)