By Jamie Boyachek RN FNLP

The dreaded Cold and Flu season is approaching and we want to help you be prepared! People with a depressed immune system or nutrient deficiencies may be more prone to catching bugs like these. Luckily, there are many natural remedies that can help!

Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly is the number one way to prevent cold, flu, and other respiratory infections. Make sure to wash with warm water and soap/natural cleaning agent for at least 20-30 seconds.

Focus on gut health
About 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Taking a multi-strain probiotic, drinking bone broth, and supplements like L-glutamine, aloe, and licorice can help repair and strengthen your gut.

Reduce sugar and alcohol consumption
Holiday treats are making the rounds this time of year and sugar cravings can be difficult to fight. Unfortunately, consuming too much sugar and alcohol can suppress your immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infection… including the flu virus.

Reduce your stress
Stress not only suppresses your immune system but can affect all aspects of your health and life. Look at ways to help you relax such as deep breathing, yoga, or taking a bath.

Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
Sleep can be difficult for so many people, so find out what is keeping you from having a good night sleep and support your body with proper nutrients and supplements. To help aid in a restful night sleep, try Gaba or Melatonin.

Optimize your vitamin D levels
Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system and is a powerful tool in fighting off infections. Optimal levels of vitamin D should be between 50 -70ng/ml. It’s important to work with your doctor/health practitioner to monitor these levels. Most people benefit from taking around 2,000- 5,000IU of a high-quality vitamin D supplement. It’s always a good idea to pair your vitamin D with a vitamin K supplement for safe, maximum absorption!

Get plenty of exercise
Exercise helps decrease stress, as well as boosts your immune system by increasing circulation, making it easier for your body to fight off illness.

Effective remedies to strengthen your immune system
Vitamin C, elderberry, vitamin D, probiotics, echinacea, oregano oil, zinc, ginger tea with raw honey or hot water with lemon, raw honey and cinnamon – yum!

Many people get flu vaccinations. There are a few things to keep in mind if this is something that you are considering. It takes about two weeks before the flu shot is effective, and you can still get the flu even if you’ve been vaccinated. The CDC states that the vaccination is usually 50-70 percent effective, but some years that number has been as low as 9 percent. So, whether you get the flu shot or not, these are things you can do to help keep yourself healthy and prevent getting sick!

Our care is personal here at Healthy Habit and would love to help you any way we can, so give us a call or come on down to the store and one of our knowledgeable staff will be glad to help! We are located at 6029 N 7th St. in Phoenix.