It is no secret that during the winter months colds and the flu are in full swing. Usually you wash your hands excessively, drink extra OJ, up the vitamin C but more often than not it finds you. Possible reasons this could happen are loss of sunlight that decreases your vitamin D levels, exposure to the cold and damp, indoor air quality, and greater indoor crowding. Some of these causes are beyond your control although there are some things you can do to stay healthy. The common wisdoms are stay warm and dry, get enough sleep and keep washing those hands. Some additional things you can do:
3 flu season tips:
Eat healthy! How to get healthy during the holidays is a challenge but the holidays are only 3-4 days out of the 3 month span. Your immune system will not function appropriately with the continuous ingestion of sugar. A staple during the flu season is chicken broth, you can always mix it with locally grown organic veggies.
Exercise! To help to you reduce getting sick keep your activity level up whether it is staying active at your local gym or getting outside on the slopes. Stay hydrated and warm while exercising.
Supplement wisely. A few winter basics to keep on hand and reduce getting sick when you’re starting to feel run down during the flu season:
- Cod Liver Oil - I usually recommend this on a regular basis although during the winter months it’s vitally important.
- Vitamin D3 - helps with the loss of sunlight
- Vitamin C - antioxidant works on refueling the immune system.
- Mushrooms - there has been increasing recognition for the potent immune support, you can get these in supplement form.
- Probiotics - this is important to keep your GI tract in good health. If the gut is healthy then the immune system is healthy. I recommend probiotics on a regular basis, especially if you are prescribed antibiotics. It is recommended to take the probiotic 4 hours after the antibiotic.
- Zinc - vital component for a healthy immune system. Foods that are rich in zinc are grass-fed red meat, cage-free eggs, and oysters. Increase these foods during the winter months.
Now the question is what happens when all the preventative measures fail?
- Increase your Vitamin D dosage for 3 days.
- Include zinc lozenges as much as every 2-4 hours
- Stay home! Sleep and rest, this is what your body is telling you to do, listen. Plus it is not very polite to be spreading your germs all around the office anyway.