Surviving cold and flu season

Your immune system is responsible for fighting off the foreign invaders that can make you sick. Needless to say, the best way to survive cold and flu season is to look after it! The following dietary, herbal, and lifestyle tips can help you do just that.

 

Dietary:

Nutritional deficiencies and poor dietary choices are a sure-fire way to reduce your immune function, leaving you vulnerable to illness. Vitamins A, C, D, E, many of the B vitamins, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium are crucial for immune function. They are easily obtained through a good diet, or via supplementation.

 

Foods to include:

  • Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, and legumes

  • Daily probiotics or fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, miso, kombucha), as good gut health is essential for immune function

  • Bone broths provide many immune boosting nutrients. Consuming them daily and when you are ill is highly beneficial

  • Manuka honey for its immune boosting and anti-microbial properties

  • Medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, mitaki, oyster, etc.) as these contain many immune boosting properties

  • 2-3L pure water daily

 

Foods to reduce:

  • fried foods

  • refined and added sugars

  • processed foods

  • excessive red meat consumption

All of these hinder good health and immune function, particularly sugar which has been found to reduce immune function by up to 75%!

 

Herbal:

Herbs are very useful for supporting immune function, and also provide a range of healthful properties. Using them daily in cooking and in herbal teas is an easy way to reap their benefits. Common culinary herbs that you can easily utilise include aniseed, cayenne, clove, coriander, garlic, ginger, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme, and turmeric. Medicinal herbs such as Astragalus, Echinacea, Elderberry, and Rosehip can be purchased in health stores or online, and used in herbal teas.

 

Lifestyle:

The way you live your life also has a direct impact on your health, and the number one suppressor of your immune system is stress. Others include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, carrying excess weight, poor or inadequate sleep, and lack of physical activity. Your immune system cannot fight off foreign invaders effectively if it is too busy dealing with these other factors. Addressing as many of these as you can will improve your immune function greatly.

 

If illness has already struck you down, click here for natural ways to recover from a cold or flu.

 

If you need more specific health advice, book in for a consultation with Belinda.

 

Photo credit: Alex Iby on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Alex Iby on Unsplash

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