Dr. Marita discusses the inevitable advent of the cold & flu season and offers helpful suggestions for warding it off:
It’s that time of year again. Your kids are coming home with the sniffles, your co-workers are calling in sick, and you are starting to get that little tickle at the back of your throat. Sound familiar? Cold and flu season is here and supporting your immune system is so vitally important. It is estimated that at least 50 million people in North America get the flu each year from November to March.
A healthy lifestyle and key nutritional supplements are critical in supporting the immune system’s resistance to infection and increasing optimal immunity. Consider the following immune boosting tips to keep you healthy this cold and flu season:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects against infection and enhances immunity. Vitamin C works by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which both help fight off infection. Some Vitamin C sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, red pepper and brussel sprouts. I like Medi-C Plus added to my smoothies or simply mixed in water to boost my immune system.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that work in the intestinal tract. They fight pathogenic infections and promote recovery from infections by stimulating the production of antibodies.
Zinc is the most important immune mineral as it helps to prevent a weakened immune system. Studies have shown that a zinc deficiency can impair a number of white blood cells and platelets (blood cells involved in clotting), and can increase susceptibility to infection.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has powerful immune-boosting, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and bone-supportive properties. Typical dosages start at 1000 IU/daily but can be increased depending on the condition being treated or how vulnerable the immune system is.
Plant Sterols – ImmunoCare help modulate your immune system. This means if parts of your immune system are running too high (as in autoimmune diseases or allergies) they help to bring it down. Or, if they are running too low (like with frequent colds or the flu) sterols help to increase your immune system function.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia) has been used for centuries by European healers and Native Americans and is frequently combined with other immune-boosting plants such as goldenseal. Ongoing research shows that Echinacea’s active constituents stimulate the immune system to fight viral infections. It is also recommended in cases of laryngitis, cold sores, tonsillitis, and sinusitis.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) is becoming as popular as Echinacea for combating the flu and supporting the immune system. It is beneficial whenever immune resistance is low, in cases of all infections; particularly respiratory infections, colds and flu, stress-related immune dysfunction, slow recovery after illness or surgery, and as a complementary treatment for cancer.
I hope you find this information useful and it helps keep the bad bugs away this flu season!