As always, prevention is the best medicine. Practice good hand-washing techniques, avoid crowded areas and limit handshaking. Let’s review some things other self-care tips that keep our immune defenses strong:
BOLSTER YOUR NUTRITION: Eat a balanced diet full of produce. Try to eat the rainbow and get as many colors in your diet as you can. If you do find yourself coming down with something you can always schedule an appointment so you can get on the mend faster!
AVOID SUGAR AND REFINED CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrate and sugar cravings tend to increase in the cooler weather. Sugar slows the action of your immune system. Instead, when you need some carbohydrate comfort, look to winter squash, citrus and other fruits, or whole grains that satisfy these cravings while giving you nutrients that are necessary to keep your body strong.
ZINC AND VITAMIN C: Zinc works best at preventing viral illness when used on your mucosal surfaces. This means that using lozenges or nasal swabs is your best option, as opposed to just capsules. Use zinc throughout the day with a daily maximum of 75mg. Vitamin C is a potent antiviral, particularly against influenza. Use 1,000mg three times per day for adults or to bowel tolerance.
VITAMIN D3: Here in Minnesota most of us must take vitamin D throughout the winter because we don’t have enough direct sunlight exposure to make it on our own. Vitamin D plays a critical role in our immune system and is one of our best defenses against viral infections. Talk to your provider about getting tested and how to correctly dose vitamin D.
EXERCISE: Once cold weather hits it can be tempting to hibernate on the couch. Make sure to keep up your exercise routine. Even doing a little yoga every morning alters your gene expression and helps keep you healthy.
ADDRESS YOUR STRESS: Stress is a natural part of life. Unfortunately it has a negative impact on your immune system. Find ways to reduce your stress that also support your health. Relieving stress is equally important. Exercise, meditation, journaling, counseling, massage, acupuncture and time in nature are all ways you can reduce your stress in immune-supportive ways.
GET PLENTY OF REST: Adequate rest is critical for keeping your immune system in tip top shape. Adults need a minimum of 7 hours every night. So- turn off your phones, computers and TVs and get some shut eye.
We hope you stay well!
Please consult with your provider before adding any supplements/nutrients.