By: Dr. Gayle Maguire ND
It’s that time of year again and you might have already faced your first bout of the sniffles or a cough. Here are some great recommendations to try and keep colds and flus at bay or to reduce the severity of symptoms when you do catch a virus.
Ensuring adequate daily protein intake is critical to boosting your immunity, as your immune cells are built from protein. Dairy, while a good protein source, often contributes to phlegm, so it should be minimized during cold & flu season. Citrus and bananas can be surprising other triggers for phlegm, so a trial reduction at the onset of a cold could be beneficial. Be sure to reduce caffeine and sugar, both heavily suppressing to the immune system.
Vitamin C and Zinc
While many people have learned the value of Vitamin C, it’s lesser known how helpful zinc can be for your immune system too. The only caveat is that Zinc should not be taken long term, as it can cause copper deficiency.
Echinacea Root & Astragalus
Echinacea has been well-studied for its ability to boost immune cells, but it is paramount to ensure that your supplement is using the correct, medicinal part of the Echinacea plant: the root! Echinacea is best for reducing the severity and duration of colds, while another plant, Astragalus membranaceus, is better suited between colds to strengthen immunity.
One of the most exciting vitamin developments in the last 10 years is Vitamin D in its ability to regulate the immune system – boosting those who ne it, or calming an over-active response. This vitamin is best absorbed when taken with food.
The bacteria in our intestines are estimated to account for over half of our immune system, so adding more through probiotic-rich foods or supplementation can reduce the frequency of colds.
Research these options or talk to your healthcare provider about these possibilities and we wish you a healthy winter!
*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.