1. Vitamin D- not only is vitamin D important to help with mood, but it is also an immune modulator. That means it can help balance out the immune system, boosting it when necessary and balancing it out if it is overactive (such as in autoimmune disorders). Because we don't get enough sunlight in the winter months supplementing with vitamin D is essential.
2. Probiotics- these good bacteria help to the flood the gut with exactly that, good bacteria, leaving little to no room for bad bacteria and virus to infiltrate. In addition to supporting a healthy immune system probiotics also help with digestion, and make vitamins such as b vitamins and vitamin K.
3. Immune boosting herbs- Echinacea, Astragalus, Andrographis, Thyme, Oil of Oregano, Ginseng, are just some herbs that have proven to boost the immune system and shorten the duration of colds and flus. They can be used preventatively as well as for treatment when illness strikes.
4. Make sure you are getting enough sleep- Sleep is essential for helping your body to stay on top of warding off viruses and bacteria. Not having the proper amount of rest can suppress the immune system making you more susceptible to infection and less capable of a quick recovery.
5. Limit the amount of sugar, processed foods, and dairy intake- Sugar is a known immune suppressant. Eating sugar can suppress the immune system for up to 24hrs. That means that during that time if you happen to come in contact with viruses or bacteria you are more likely to be infected. Diary can increase mucus production and secretions and therefore can make a nice breeding environment for bacteria. Congestion can be made worse by consuming milk and milk products so especially when you are fighting off infection it is a good idea to stay away.
6. Increase water intake- Water is so important to flush out circulating toxins or unwanted visitors. Our liver and kidney are our main organs of detoxification and drinking a sufficient amount of water daily helps them to function properly to clear the blood and body of waste products.
Hope these tips help you stay warm and healthy during the rest of this winter season! Remember that supplements and diet suggestions should be considered on an individual basis. No two people are alike and therefore there is no cookie cutter treatment. It's important that you do not self prescribe and seek the advice of your naturopathic doctor to determine which supplements are best for you and which doses would be most effective for you.
Yours in health,
Dr. Claudia Truglia BSc, ND
Stoney Creek Natural Wellness Center
50 King St. W, Stoney Creek ON