Winter may be as far from your mind as a snowy Christmas, but now is the time to help boost your immunity in preparation for the winter season's coughs, colds and flu.
Nature's liquid gold derived from the fresh-picked leaves of the olive tree could be your secret weapon to help build a strong front-line winter defence with Comvita's Fresh-Picked™ Olive Leaf Extract, shown to have five times more antioxidant power than the equivalent amount of Vitamin C according to a scientific study.
Used for thousands of years as a medicinal remedy, the antioxidant-rich liquid was shown in research conducted at Australia's Southern Cross University (SCU) and published in The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, to be the most powerful, free radical scavenging antioxidant of 55 medicinal herbs.
Dr Stephen Hadges, General Practitioner and active member of the Australasian College of Anti-Ageing Medicine, Adelaide, says olive leaf extract has traditionally been used as a strong antimicrobial agent proving beneficial for supporting the immune system.
'Australian research has shown us that fresh-picked olive leaf extract helps provide powerful support and relief of symptoms of the common cold and flu, coughs and fever."
Dr Hadges said in order to build one's immune system in the pre-winter months for the prevention of winter colds and flu, a diet rich in antioxidants, plentiful fruit and vegetables, a good cleanliness routine, supported by adequate sleep and regular exercise is recommended.
'Antioxidants act as -free-radical scavengers, helping to quench free radical activity which are the cause of a weaker immune system and inflammation," Dr Hadges said.
Fresh-picked Olive leaf extract has been shown to contain a broad spectrum of over 20 potent antioxidants including Oleuropein, a polyphenol compound, which has been shown to be one of the most powerful antioxidants.
'Oleuropein has shown to have higher antioxidant activity than vitamin C and E because of the unique way it works in synergy with the other antioxidants found in olive leaves". Dr Hadges said
'Olive leaf extract also contains selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin C and betacarotene. These nutrients are important for the healthy functioning of the immune system and general good health".
Comvita's Olive Leaf Extract is uniquely produced using fresh-picked leaves. With careful harvesting and extraction processes in place, Comvita ensures Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract retains all quality components, including antioxidants, to maximise its efficacy.
To this day, the olive leaf species cultivated at Comvita's farm in Coominya, Queensland, remains a closely held secret, having been carefully selected after rigorous research, to establish the highest antioxidant yield.
Comvita's Fresh-Picked™ Olive Leaf Extract is uniquely produced using fresh-picked leaves. Comvita's fresh-picked system and careful extraction process keeps their olive leaf extract as close to nature as possible by retaining all of the plant polyphenols that occur naturally in the olive leaf.
The olive trees cultivated on Comvita's Queensland plantations are from a carefully selected species, identified from years of rigorous research to have the highest antioxidant yield.
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Question: What are your three top tips for staying fit and healthy during the cooler months?
Emma Seib: 1. In winter I tend to eat mostly warming foods as well as more vitamin C-rich fruits such as an orange, a grapefruit or even a pineapple. The sweetness of the fruit gives your body the pick-me-up it needs and the Vitamin C and antioxidants may help to support your immune system, leaving you less susceptible to catching a cold or flu.
2. During the day, I sip on loose leaf peppermint or chamomile tea, with fresh lemon, fresh ginger and a spoonful of Manuka honey.
3. Regular exercise is important during the cooler months and I find the best way to keep motivated to continue with your exercise as the weather gets cooler is to stay toasty; heat your room in the morning to help you to get out of bed and get yourself some warm outer-activewear (think cashmere!) Also, during the winter season, coughs, colds and the flu are more common so to stay well and on track for your fitness goals, it's important to boost your immunity
Question: How do you use Comvita's Fresh-Picked™ Olive Leaf Extract?
Emma Seib: I take it daily to support my general wellbeing, by adding the olive leaf extract liquid into my morning smoothie. And for an extra immune boost, I take 15mL of Comvita Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract.
Question: What are the advantages of Comvita's Fresh-Picked™ Olive Leaf Extract?
Emma Seib: An essential in my health regime is Comvita Fresh-Picked Olive Leaf Extract because it helps to support my immunity in preparation for the winter season's coughs, colds and flu. It is a powerful antioxidant, with five times more antioxidant activity than the equivalent amount of Vitamin C.
Question: How else do you protect yourself from colds in winter?
Emma Seib: I build my immunity in the pre-winter months for the prevention of winter colds and flu, by eating a diet rich in antioxidants, plentiful fruit and vegetables, and I try to get adequate sleep and regular exercise (Barre Body of course!).
Question: If you do feel a cold coming on; what do you do?
Emma Seib: Go to bed early. Try to go to bed about half an hour before you would like to be asleep, especially if you struggle to fall asleep straight away.
Question: What is Barre Body?
Emma Seib: Barre Body is a complete body workout fusing ballet barre conditioning, yoga and pilates. Signature Barre Body, Barre Moves, Barre Cardio and Barre Tone classes are designed to tone your entire body, creating longer, leaner muscles. Ballet & pilates exercises at the barre and on the mat tone your muscles, while complementary yoga postures lengthen and shape your muscles (think long & lean like a ballet dancer!)
The interval training format (raising and lowering the heart rate) means that you get fast results, fat burning is increased and your metabolism is boosted for hours after your workout. Barre Body works your entire body, giving special attention to the lesser used muscles, resulting in a total body toning effect.
Question: Can you talk us through the difference classes on offer?
Emma Seib: Our Barre Body classes are all strong and dynamic, designed to stretch, tone and reshape your body. We offer 7 different classes:
Our signature class at the barre, Barre Body will reshape and sculpt your body. Fusing yoga and barre conditioning exercises, Barre Body comprises interval training and isometric exercises incorporating hand weights, mat work and the barre to tone and shape your body.
More balletic in style, Barre Moves combines flowing yoga and contemporary and classical ballet exercises to burn fat and tone your body at the barre and on the mat. No dance experience (and no tutus!) required.
In the US style of barre classes, this strong and dynamic core-focused class integrates Pilates principles and exercises with barre work and hand weights to tone and shape your body.
A strong and energising total body cardio class that combines high-energy cardio intervals (HIIT) with barre and Pilates conditioning.
A strong and dynamic vinyasa flow yoga class. Vinyasa is a flowing style of yoga with a sequence of postures synchronised by the breath. This class will challenge your body, quieten your mind and uplift your spirit.
A strong, flowing practice focusing on twists and forward bends for detoxification. Boosts circulation and helps to stimulate lymphatic drainage and fluid/weight loss.
A class comprising of strong Pilates mat exercises to condition your body. The blend of strength and flexibility training improves posture and creates long, lean muscles.
Question: What should we expect from a typical Barre Body class?
Emma Seib: It's fun (and addictive when you see how quickly it shapes your body). You only need to do 3-4 classes a week to see great results. Be prepared to feel like you've had a workout. All beginners are absolutely welcome!
Question: How does regular exercise prevent winter colds and flus?
Emma Seib: Light exercise a few times a week can help you sleep better at night. A little bit of exercise e.g. going for a walk on a sunny winter's day or doing a Barre Body, pilates or yoga class not only will help your body to function properly, but will ensure a restful night's sleep as well.
Question: What's a typical day like for you?
Emma Seib: Get up at 5am and do some yoga or barre practice and sneak in 5 mins of meditation before my two little ones wake up at 6am. Then it's the wonderful madness that comes with having a one and four year old. Most days Xavier is at day care and Isla has a nanny (Wednesday is our family day), so I try to do as much work as I can as well as connect with my hubby and business partner. I spend a lot of time on the phone to my team now that I work remotely and then we start family time again at 4pm and put the babes to bed around 7, at which time we cook our dinner, do a little more work and then watch TV or read and then fall in a heap, ready to do it all again the next day! It's certainly a challenge trying to find a balance of self-care, family, work and being a wife, but I think we do a pretty wonderful job.
Question: What's something we might not know about you?
Emma Seib: I've recently moved to Byron for a more mindful way of living. We've bought a beautiful acre of land in Mullumbimby and we are loving the slower pace and connection to our environment and selves.
Question: And, what's your motto?
Emma Seib: Live with grace and love.
Interview by Brooke Hunter