Well, whether (or should I say *weather*) we want to believe it or not, it is officially mid-November. It’s darker earlier, it’s getting colder, and with that, cold and flu season is fast approaching. As we know, there are some things that you can do to boost your immune system and in turn, pre-emptively help to prevent common colds and flus – here are some tips and foods that can help:
– Widely known for its medicinal properties, garlic contains allicin, an active ingredient which has been shown to aid the body in fighting infection and bacteria.
– We recommend cutting up a couple raw cloves into small pieces and swallow the pieces whole at the first sign of a cold and to eat one clove a day until fully well.
– Vitamin C helps to build muscle tissue and boost immunity. Most people just think of citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit to contain vitamin C (which they do!). But if you’re looking for sources beyond the oranges, grab some broccoli and kiwifruit.
– Yogurt is a good source of ‘healthy’ bacteria and helps boost your immune system. Make sure you increase your intake of yogurt if you start taking antibiotics for an infection. This will help keep your system balanced, as you need healthy bacteria in your system and antibiotics will kill both bad and good bacteria.
– Ginger can help ease the nasal congestion that goes with common colds and the flu. Consider making ginger tea by slicing a little ginger root with boiling water, and a slice of lemon.
– This plant can ease throat and upper respiratory tract infection and it will help clear out your sinuses. It has antibiotic properties, and has been shown specifically to destroy the flu virus and reduce the severity of flu infections.
– Remember to consume extra water when you are fighting an infection to keep your kidneys and liver filtering out toxins.
– Normally, it is important to consume 2L of water daily—even when you’re not sick!
– We all know sleep is important for daily functioning, but it is especially important in preventing and fighting colds and flus.
– Research suggests that those who get 7 hours or sleep or less a night are 3 times more likely to get a cold than those who get more than 7 hours.
– In short, sleep deprivation decreases immune function, which in turn increases your susceptibility to illness and infection.
– There is a link between your gut/digestive health and your immune system.
– Probiotics have live microorganisms that help to balance the bacteria in the body.
– Research suggests that probiotics may also help to protect against some inflammatory conditions.
– Fermented foods are natural sources of probiotics. They provide enzymes and good bacteria to your gut, which is turn helps boost and maintain your immune system.
– Great food sources of probiotics include:
– Astragalus comes from a type of bean or legume, and is very effective at boosting immune function.
– You can take it in the form of a supplement.
– It also has been shown to be cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant.
– Echinacea is a plant that is included in some supplements and teas.
– It is effective in helping fight colds.
– There is some evidence that is enhances natural chemicals in the body that help boost immune function and decrease inflammation.
You know the saying, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. When the failing is getting sick… you definitely want to plan! Stay healthy :).