The cold and flu season is definitely upon us. Many of you have heard by now that the vaccine that was developed in anticipation of this season has substantially missed the mark leaving many people wondering what they can do to protect themselves.
Food and targeted supplements can be important tools to keep your immune system strong this flu season. Let’s start with food because food has the power to heal us. Here are some steps to keep our immune system at its best:
• Protein is part of the body’s defense system. It’s a good habit to have protein with every meal.
• Make sure you stay well hydrated which support all of the body’s functions particularly your immune system.
• Avoid simple sugars and white foods like flour because they can suppress your immune system.
• Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C (oranges, red bell pepper, grapefruit, strawberries) stimulates antibodies and boosts immunity while vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, eggs) helps to regulate the immune system.
• Add garlic, onions, ginger and spices such as allspice, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and cayenne pepper because they offer antimicrobial properties.
Beyond food and nutrients there are some great natural remedies which are very helpful during the cold and flu season. Vitamin C along with some Echinacea and Goldenseal a couple of times a day, several days in a row, especially if you catch cold symptoms early.
For the flu, Oscillococcinum by Boiron is very effective. Taken at the first sign of flu-like symptoms, this homeopathic remedy can help temper fever and body aches. Elderberry syrup by Gaia has anti-infective properties against the flu virus and can shorten the duration of the flu.
Finally, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. A few simple preventive measures can go a long way toward keeping you healthy this cold and flu season.
Learn more in our latest newsletter: Beating Colds and the Flu which also has some great recipes.