Prepare for flu season

Autumn is just around the corner and with kids going back to school and colder temperatures setting in, one inevitably starts thinking about flu prevention.

  • Sep. 20, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Autumn is just around the corner and with kids going back to school and colder temperatures setting in, one inevitably starts thinking about flu prevention.

The good news is there are many natural things you can do to protect yourself from being one of the casualties—cover your mouth and nose when coughing, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

But if your immune system is compromised, the avoidance strategy is most likely not enough.

So now is when you need to begin boosting your immune system.

Healthy eating habits and daily activity are absolute musts. Your diet should include at least five vegetables and three fruit per day, healthy sources of omega-3 fats, and whole grains.

You should be drinking at least 1.5 litres of water per day (add one glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage).

Freshly minced garlic is a powerful antimicrobial that can be sprinkled on almost any food.

Limit your intake of saturated “bad” fats and sources of refined sugar.

Refined sugar suppresses the immune system and feeds infections.

Regular exercise should include at least 60 minutes of combined cardio and strength training.

Exercise not only boosts the immune system, but reduces overall stress.

Several vitamins, herbal medicines and homeopathics can prepare the body to fight off invading organisms. You can never go wrong with Vitamin C, the body’s number one anti-oxidant and at high doses stimulates the reproduction of immune cells.

Echinacea is probably the most well-known herbal remedy for supporting a healthy immune function and for good reason. The key is to start taking these remedies prior to getting sick. The idea is to be proactive—not reactive.

This article is from the Okanagaan Naturopathic Healthcare newsletter.

 

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