Well it is that time of year ….. yep, cold and flu season. This always happens around the end of September lasting until around March. The kids have been back at school for a month or so and passing germs from one another and we tend to be staying inside more due to weather, where germs and bacteria breed. Holiday celebrations have started with Thanksgiving weekend, Halloween coming and soon all those Christmas functions. Hugging, kissing, hand shakes, coughs and sneezes..all the ways that germs get spread as we gather for these celebrations.
I am a huge proponent of maintaining a healthy immune system so that our bodies can naturally fight off these cold and flu germs. Being preventative will take you a long way. So today’s post is all about how you to be preventative and help your body naturally fight off those nasty bugs.
Disclaimer: These may not always be successful and you may even get a couple colds this season or even the flu but these tips may help each be less severe.
The main thing we want to focus on is to lessen our exposure to immune system suppressors. What are some immune system suppressors?
- SUGAR….When we consume sugar, a form of paralysis takes place and our immune cells are rendered ineffective; just 1 tsp of sugar can suppress our immune system for up to 6 hours.…This applies to all sugars, even natural ones like honey, maple syrup, although these are better alternatives then white sugar as they do have some minerals and antioxidants in them. Use them in moderation.
Something to think about: colds and flus drastically increase just after Halloween and around Christmas time, when we consume the most of our sugary treats…hmmm
- STRESS…At times of stress, we release cortisol from our adrenal glands. Cortisol also suppresses the function of our immune cells. So keeping our stress levels at a manageable level is important. I know it is is hard if you are the one hosting Christmas dinner for 20..But try not to sweat the small stuff 🙂
Did you know that approximately 80% of our immune system is in our gut…
- OVEREATING…T’is the season for overeating..We all naturally produce enzymes in our bodies that digest food but enzymes also help in destroying the invading germs and bacteria. When we over eat, our natural enzymes are all being used for digestion and unable to help with their other job of digesting and destroying the bacteria.
So how do you support your immune systems?
- STOP THE SUGAR!!!! I know it is going to be hard but lessen those Halloween treats by eating only 1 a day or try baking with sugar alternatives. There are lots of great recipes out there or on our blog ;)..
- PROPER NUTRITION…Try to eat as healthy as possible. Lots of vegetables, fruits and proteins that are full of antioxidants and nutrients our bodies need without overeating. Try to resist those sugary carbs!!
- SUPPLEMENTS..As much as we try to get most of our nutrition from food (or at least you should), we can always use a boost. So here are a few of the supplements that we take in my house to support our immune systems
- Probiotics – these are the healthy/good bacteria our gut needs to keep it working optimally and help to destroy those invading germs and bad bacteria. Look for a daily dose of at least 10-20 billion CFU.
- Multivitamin/Vitamin C/Zinc/Vitamin D – These supplements help to support your immune system and can be taken daily as directed on the bottles.They can also be bumped up during the cold and flu to help your body fight it off.
- Deep Immune from St Francis Herb – This is a tincture that I always have in the house (you can also get this product in capsule form). You can take it as a preventative measure but I usually take this one at the start of a scratchy throat. It just helps to boost that immune system to stop the cold in its tracks or just to lessen the symptoms and duration.
- WATER..Always good to keep drinking water or other fluids (soups, broth, herbal teas) to keep things moving.
- EXERCISE…Exercise of any type is helpful to keep that lymphatic system moving and sweat those toxins out.
Even though you may follow some of these tips, you may still get sick.. It happens!! It is actually a good thing unless it gets severe. I am a believer as well of, if you don’t use it, you lose it..Every once in a while our immune systems need to get a kick in the butt to help keep you healthy.
FACT: on average adults can get between 2-4 colds a year and children 6-8.
I hope that some of these tips will lead you to a healthier winter season..
Here’s to a healthier you!!