Q- When one person gets sick in our house it’s just a matter of time our whole house gets sick! How do I and my family keep fend off the sniffles and flu this winter season ?
Staying healthy during the holidays and cool winter months can be challenging. I have to admit, my peeps at Solaris Whole Health brag about not getting sick for years at a time even if their kids come home with something! Some of the most common factors that contribute to a weak immune system are:
- Eating too much sugar and too many grains
- Not getting enough rest
- Ineffectively managing emotional stresses in your daily life
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Any combination of the above
So, to get you armed and ready for a healthy, energetic year to come we’re going to play a game of our “Top 5 Immune Busting “Did you Know” !
1. Immune Boosting Foods: Did you know that eating the color of the rainbow will increase your antioxidants and bioflavonoids and therefore your immune. So when you’re out at a an event be weary of the cheese and cracker tray. It’s one color! Think red (tomato) orange (squash/sweet potato/oranges) yellow (squash) Green (spinach/kale/green beans) blue (berries) violet (grapes). Be inclusive of all foods.
2. Immune Fighting Foods: Did you know that spicing your foods with these spices are known to kill off those ‘bad bacteria.’ Spice your foods and/or tea with turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, ginger or garlic.
Did you know, chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. So yes, your mom’s homemade chicken soup does work!
3. Vitamin D: Did you know, there was a study published which found that school age children who took supplemental vitamin D had lower incidents of the flu and asthma attacks (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60)? Dr. John Cannell reported in another study that vitamin D helps produce antibacterial peptides that help protect against the flu. That is why in winter, when there is little sunshine, people are more prone to vitamin D deficiency and getting infected with flu viruses.
In general, best time to test your vitamin D levels are in September (usually your highest levels of the year) OR March (usually your lowest of the year). The clinical range is 30-100 ng/ml , so you may want to shoot for a year round average of 50-80 ng/ml. Speak to your health care practitioner to determine the correct dosage to keep you healthy year round!
4. Antibiotics: We’ve all heard about the overuse of antibiotics and the resistant strains of bacteria being created as a result. Did you know, according to the CDC, doctors will prescribe antibiotics 62% of the time if parents expect them to, compared to only 7% of the time if the parents do not expect them to. So go into your appointment with an open mind and listen to your doctor.
5. Probiotics: Did you know roughly seventy to eighty percent of your immune system is located in your digestive track? Furthermore an optimum balance of gut flora is 85% ‘good bacteria’ to 15% ‘bad bacteria’ for your immune to be in tip-top shape. A study concluded that young children who drank a mixture of ‘good bacteria’ or probiotics, had fewer colds, needed fewer antibiotics, and missed fewer days of school. All probiotics are not the same. Speak to a health practitioner to determine the correct strain of probiotics, the strains that are researched for their effectiveness and those with the lowest die off rate to determine what is best for you and your family.
So this winter keep it simple! Enjoy a couple desserts and a maximum of 4 servings of spirits a week, eat lots of colorful foods, balance your stress (pace yourself), sleep well, rest well, eliminate daily, take the proper types of probiotic and take vitamin D if needed. Being free from illness will open up a whole other world of awareness and fun that is just waiting for you to say yes to!