Better than taking yearly flu shots or drugging up with cold medications, here are some tips that work to help keep them at bay.
This is where it’s best to start.
-Ease up on sugar and processed foods (look for ways to use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar if you need them). Consuming too much sugar affects our immune systems negatively by reducing the ability of our white blood cells to fight harmful bacteria, and causes irritating inflammation.
-Fluids cleanse your body. Limit caffeine which stresses your body, and drink water and herbal teas. Beverages like fermented brewed kombucha work wonders if you want a power drink.
-Nutritious fresh produce should fill your meals as much as possible. Shop at markets, and look for local (less travel means more fresh and nutritious).
-When possible go organic. Organic produce, meats and dairy have higher nutritional content. Non-organic fed animals usually have GMO soy/grain based diets. Grass-fed beef (the way it’s supposed to be!) is much higher in vitamins, minerals, and less harmful fats. It’s also usually antibiotic and steroid free. Look up locally raised and butchered meat for affordability and freshness (and obviously supporting your economy!)
-Chicken soup apparently does your body good when a cold has hit… so try chicken vegetable, chicken chili, chicken broth… yummy!
-Garlic and onions are proven to be helpful, so make up some savory dishes, adding a few extra cloves!
-Raw coconut oil is beneficial to use for it’s antibacterial properties (and you can also use it for almost anything you cook). The lauric acid in it is an essential fatty acid that helps protect us against viruses, yeasts, and parasites in the gut (those with AIDS and compromised immune systems are even treated with it now!).
Supplements and natural remedies:
-Vitamin D has so many benefits and is the #1 vitamin we take all year round (NutraSea fish oil with added vit D is a great source). If you need boosted immunity or aren’t exposed to sunshine for much of the year (as we are) it’s an important vitamin. A minimum of 1000 IU is recommended through the Winter.
-Vitamin A, C and zinc are also notable for immune system function.
-A liquid concentrate of Elderberry is a great support for our immune systems.
-Oregano oil with it’s antibacterial properties can be dropped under your tongue and then swallowed with a sip of water. It’s strong so beware, only a few drops will do!
-Gargling salt water and apple cider vinegar can provide similar relief for an infected throat.
-A vaporizer with eucalyptus oil works great as a decongestant.
-Necessary for building up the healthy bacteria again after taking antibiotics, pro-biotic capsules or powders (the refrigerated, quality kind) should be taken in a high dose for at least 3 months. We can’t fight harmful bacteria without a healthy gut.