By Dr. Suneil Jain, Naturopathic Physician at Rejuvena Health
Are you avoiding your co-worker with that hacking cough and runny nose? Regardless of how healthy you are anyone can become a victim to colds and the flu.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects a more severe influenza season across the nation this year.
So, what can you do to protect against the virus?
Because flu activity will likely continue into spring, it is important to start taking precautions now to help keep illnesses at bay.
Eat food rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin D
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, making it great for helping prevent colds/flu. Take regular doses of food-based vitamin C during flu season and concentrate on incorporating foods like dark leafy greens, berries, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli into your regular diet. Also, make sure your Vitamin D levels are at optimum levels. Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients to keep the immune system healthy. Mushrooms and natural sunlight are great sources of Vitamin D.
Get Proper Amounts of Sleep
If you aren’t getting adequate amounts of sleep, it can put stress on your body and weaken your immune system. Between seven and eight hours of sleep a night will help your body function appropriately. If you struggle getting to sleep, try listening to calm music, drinking hot tea, taking a hot bath before bed or doing relaxation exercises like meditation or deep breathing.
When in doubt, sweat it out. Working out regularly has been shown to have numerous health benefits including enhancing immune function. Spend 30-45 minutes a day a few times a week to keep your mind and body at its best.
Probiotics are live cultures that live mostly in our gut. These are good bacteria that help fight off the bad bacteria. Feeding the gut with good bacteria helps heal it and strengthens our immune system. Eat food with natural probiotics or take a probiotic supplement to help ward off bad germs.
Reduce/Eliminate refined sugar
Refined sugar promotes inflammation and suppresses the immune system. If at all possible, avoid grabbing these types of snacks on the go. Instead reach for fresh fruit and veggies.
When the body is under stress, the immune system can’t function efficiently. Chronic stress is especially hard on the immune system. Try to eliminate and control stress by working out or meditating.
And if you are sick?
Don’t worry. Most healthy people will recover from the flu within a week, with most of the symptoms going away within four days. Here are some other tips to help make sure your family and friends don’t become victims of the flu:
• Make sure to cover your mouth with your sleeve or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
• Don’t share eating utensils, cups or straws
• Consider doing Intravenous (IV) High Dose Vitamin C; Ozone/UV light therapy to help kill the virus
• Take Elderberry Syrup: potent anti-viral
• Take Collostrum: immune boosting supplement
Controlling the spread of illness is not always easily accomplished but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. No matter what age a person is utilize preventative hygiene measures and if diagnosed with the illness, to stay home and get plenty of rest.