Cold & Flu?
Support Your Immune System Naturally
Now that January is upon us, it seems that everyone around us is sneezing and coughing. Supporting your immune system is your best defence against upper respiratory infections, whether they are bacterial or viral.
These are my top five recommendations for immune support:
1. Find a high-quality vitamin A,C,E, selenium and zinc formula in capsule form.
• These vitamins and minerals support various components of our immune system – the physical barrier (skin and mucosa), cellular immunity and antibody production. • Best food sources of vitamin A include carrot juice, liver, dandelion leaf, spirulina and sweet potato.
• Food sources of vitamin C: orange juice, guava, peppers, grapefruit juice and watermelon.
• Top sources of vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and sweet potato.
• Selenium is found in: Brazil nuts, snapper, halibut, salmon and Swiss chard.
• Zinc sources include oysters, beef, wheat germ, turkey and Swiss chard.
2. Take a probiotic that contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
• These healthy bacteria reduce the duration, severity and frequency of cold symptoms. Concentrated products can be in capsule or powder form.
• Healthy probiotics are found in fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
3. Consider a herbal or mushroom extract.
• A few common immune stimulating herbs are echinacea, elderberry, ginseng and reishi. There are also herbs that are anti-bacterial and anti-viral, such as garlic, olive leaf, and goldenseal, so these herbs are often used together.
• Take in tincture (liquid) form for better absorption.
4. Avoid sugar in all forms.
• Even a tablespoon of simple sugar can suppress your white blood cell response to bacteria or viruses.
• Sugar hides under various names on food labels, such as glucose, fructose, brown rice syrup, barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, rice syrup, and maltodextrin. So read labels carefully!
5. Try an immune boosting soup.