Well, it is that time again – the season is changing and with that comes the fear of the dreaded cold and flu. As our gift to you, we have put together some tips to keep your family healthy by supporting your immune system this winter.
Also new this year, we are offering 10% off all of our immune support products for the month of November 2010.
Supporting Your Immune System
When talking about prevention, we have to start with the basics. The best protection from infectious diseases is a robust immune system and daily healthy habits. There is a saying, “it is the terrain and not the disease” meaning that if your “terrain” or your body is healthy it doesn’t matter what infection gets thrown it’s way. Now, there are always exceptions to this rule, however it is very true for the routine infections such as the common cold and flu.
In order to optimize your immune system, you need to address your underlying health conditions. It is very difficult for the immune system to fight infections if it is depleted from stress or another chronic disease. If you haven’t explored a natural alternative approach to chronic disease, then contact a naturopathic doctor or other health care provider.
Diet and Lifestyle
- Try for 10 serving of fruits and veggies per day
- Include things like garlic, oregano, thyme and onions to your cooking to boost your immune system and fight viruses
- Avoid or limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol which reduce your immune fighting capabilities
- Keep hydrated…6-8 glasses of pure water/day. In the winter people tend to decrease their water intake, however this puts extra metabolic stress on the liver, kidney and colon
- Avoid overeating, as it takes more energy to digest large amounts of food…all taking away energy from the immune system
- SLEEP!! With busy schedules it seems that sleep is the first thing to go by the wayside. It is important to get at least 6-8 hours per night to ensure a properly functioning immune system.
- Reduce Stress – Chronic stress will directly suppress the immune function and can lead to chronic infections. Try daily stress reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, massage or deep breathing. Take 5 minutes in the morning and evening and deep breath, also do this when stress is becoming overwhelming throughout the day. This will help to decrease the negative impact that stress has on your system.
- Vitamin D – there has been much research on optimal vitamin D status and a strong immune system. Every adult in North America should be supplementing with at least 2000IU of vitamin D in the winter months. Children should be taking 1000IU/day. For more information please see this article Vitamin D by Robin.
- Multivitamin – Since we don’t have the luxury of having a lot of local food in the winter. It is important to supplement yourself with a quality multivitamin. We suggest the multi from Douglas Labs
- Probiotic – Since a great majority of your immune system derives from your gut, it is important to keep it healthy. The latest research from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (2009) found that compaired to placebo daily probiotic supplementation for 6 months was a safe and effective way to reduce fever (53-72% reduction), rhinorrhea (28-58% reduction), and cough (41-62% reduction). Probiotics also reduced the incidence and duration of the antibiotic prescription (68-84% reduction) as well as reduced the number of school days missed. The amount of probiotic used in this study was 5 billion CFU’s twice per day. For more information on how to choose a probiotic, see the attached article.
- Pascoleucyn – This is a homeopathic combination from Germany that has a great immune supporting effect. It is taken as a liquid ampule once a week through the winter to support and protect the immune system. We have been using it for years in our clinic with great reviews. There are also pascoleucyn drops which can be taken at the onset of any kind of cold or flu. These are safe for kids, and are an easy way to keep the family healthy!
Come in and Pick up your immune support products and SAVE 10%.
- Vitamin D1000 Drops or Vitamin D 1000IU capsules
- Probiotic 123 for children
- Ultraflora for children 12+ and adults
- Pascoleucyn ampules
- Pascoleucyn drops for managing initial cold or flu symptoms
- Douglas Multivitamin