Australians take an alarming 90 million sick days every year, citing workplace stress, colds and flu as the main causes.[i] Dr Joe shares his advice on how to stay healthy – mentally and physically, all year round.

Health problem: Repetitive colds

Solution: Adults catch around two to four colds every year.[ii] These viral illnesses are contagious, so if you’re suffering it’s best that you stay home. In reality, if you’re dealing with work, family and day-to-day demands, it is not always possible to take the time needed to recover fully.

You may reduce the length of your illness by getting enough vitamin A, D ,C, zinc and citrus bioflavonoids. These are cold-fighting nutrients which may help provide relief from colds and mild upper respiratory tract infections.[iii] A balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, lean protein and plenty of water will also help support your immune system.

Health problem: Feeling stressed

Solution: When you’re stressed you’re more susceptible to illness, energy lows and poor sleep. Some researchers say that Vitamin C should be an integral part of stress management, as your body uses your stores to produce the cortisol needed to help deal with stress.[iv] You can increase your vitamin C amounts through a diet rich in citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and pomegranates. You can also add a daily vitamin C supplement when your diet is inadequate to give you an added boost.

Health problem: Insomnia

Solution: Around one in three people suffer from insomnia, caused, it’s believed, from work stress, financial worries, family pressures and in some cases, illness.[v] And it’s a vicious circle, as research shows that continual insomnia can reduce your ability to fight off illness.[vi] Adopting good bedtime habits can help. Reducing screen time, going to bed at the same time every night, and keeping your room dark, may all help reduce the amount of times you wake up during the night. Mindfulness may also help you fall asleep or go back to sleep if you find yourself staring at the ceiling at 3am.[vii] Certain herbs can help manage insomnia, especially if you’re suffering from stress: consider including withania, kava and lavender in your lifestyle plan.[viii], , [ix][x]

Health problem: inability to bounce back

Solution: take some time out for you

If you’re constantly getting ill, or don’t feel that you fully recovered from that last bout of cold or flu, then some gentle exercise such as yoga or meditation may be the key to regaining good health.[xi] It is also a good idea to consult your healthcare practitioner.

Sleep disturbances may be caused by serious medical conditions and you should consult your healthcare practitioner to discuss your particular needs to optimise your health.

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