It is the time of year when it cold and flu prevention is your best bet. Keep your immune system functioning well to fly through this time of year. Take charge of your health and minimize your down time with the following suggestions for both preventing and treating cold and flu.
- Ensure your vitamin D is high. Research from Pure North shows that the rise in upper respiratory tract infections coinciding with the colder weather has to do with a decrease in natural vitamin D production. As people move indoors and temperatures fall we simply get less Vitamin D naturally. Be sure to supplement vitamin D3 for is many health benefits, including improved immunity. According to Pure North most people in our northern climate need 5000-8000 IUs daily.
- Fish oil. A study in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that fish oil not only reduces inflammation, but also increase B cells, a type of white blood cell important for warding off infection. Be sure to choose Norwegian fish oil that is free from Pacific radiation and that says it is mercury free.
- Probiotics. Your digestive tract houses between 70-80% of your immune system. Given that 80% of our antibiotic use is used in agriculture, it is clear out to see that maintaining a healthy population of good bacteria in the digestive tract requires continual replenishment, either in the form of fermented foods or quality supplements. Of course eating more none GMO veggies and less meats or chicken that contain those antibiotics will reduce your exposure.
- Zinc. A trace element essential for cells of the immune system, zinc affects the ability of T cells and other immune cells to function as they should. Aim for a total intake of 15–25 mg per day, since taking too much can actually inhibit immune function.
- Vitamin C. The best source is real fruit and berries, organic ones, daily. When you are feeling under the weather, take a supplement from a plant sourced brand. Most “vit C” is actually ascorbic acid which is not Vitamin C. Use a brand that has real fruits and berries to create the supplement.
- Ginger and Tumeric. These spices make lovely teas and sauces. They reduce inflammation, improve the immune response, and fight viruses.
On the other hand, stop doing some of the things the deplete your immune system. Cut down the sugar and remove processed foods from your diet. Include more greens and brightly colored veggies in your diet. Drink plenty of water and get your rest. A tired body is far more susceptible to invaders than a well rested one. Deal with your stress! Watch for my forthcoming book on how to deal with your stress and get your life back under your control.
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