Cold and flu season is upon us! I don’t know about you, but I like learning of natural ways to protect my immune system so I can prevent falling victim to the cold or flu. Or if I’ve already caught the bug, knowing what to take to make me feel better the fastest (and I don’t mean taking copious amounts of Dayquil and Nyquil to help me get through the day and night!).
There are many natural ways to jumpstart your immune system, but these are a few we recommend to our patients:
- Chiropractic care: Chiropractic care regulates or treats the nervous system. The nervous system controls everything in your body, including the immune system. Chiropractic care boosts the immune system by 200-400% - and that is for everyone!
- Vitamin D: The sun is a natural source of vitamin D, but with daylight hours decreasing and the weather getting colder, it’s harder to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Supplement vitamin D3 to prevent cold/flu and to jumpstart the immune system.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are “good” bacteria that inhabit the gut and support the immune system. Over 70% of the immune system is controlled by what happens in the gut. If you are on antibiotics it’s so important to take probiotics after to help replenish the good bacteria.
- Omega-3-Fatty Acids: Not only are Omega-3 fatty acids good for the cardiovascular system, reducing inflammation and enhancing brain function they also boost the immune system.
- Diet: Making sure your diet is full of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to fight off that pesky cold/flu is so important. If you find it hard to fit in several servings each day consider throwing veggies and fruit into a smoothie (preferably one without yogurt or milk) or juicing them into a delicious juice. Both of these are my favorite way of getting more fruits and vegetables daily. And what is even better is that many fruits and vegetables are prebiotics, which are a form of non-digestible fiber called oligosaccharides that help support and essentially feed the probiotics.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is important for healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
- Echinacea: Helps prevent colds and flu, but if taken when you are sick it also helps shorten the duration and decreases severity. NOTE: Echinacea is in the ragweed family, so if you are allergic to ragweed you may be allergic to Echinacea as well.
- Garlic: Garlic is a potent herb with a variety of active compounds that reduce inflammation, fight infection and regulate the cardiovascular system. Garlic is full of antioxidants and even helps you fight the cold/flu faster.
Now you know of natural ways to kick that cold or flu to the curb!