While influenza circulates year round, historically influenza cases appear to peak between December & February, according to the CDC. With Flu & Cold Season in full swing, we wanted to share some tips & tricks as well as some good products to have on hand to protect yourself!
A healthy immune system is supported by a healthy body. Our bodies systems are interconnected and thus if one system is compromised, often other systems also experience issues and we develop uncomfortable symptoms, illness, or disease. However, if you get sick and most systems are working optimally, your recovery time is quickened and often your symptoms will be more manageable. Ensuring you properly fuel your body to work optimally will give your immune system extra support it often needs this time of year.
When it comes to immune health, the power of making time for regular exercise, good sleep habits, and nutritious meals should never be underestimated. When you exercise, you improve circulation. Improved circulation allows your white blood cells to move more efficiently through the body and detect illness faster. Getting enough rest ensures your body has enough time to heal and repair. Opt for a diet that includes mostly nutrient dense fruits and veggies, and lots of color & diversity! Eating an anti inflammatory diet, low in processed food and sugar, and rich in antioxidants can fuel your body to fight off infection. Equally as important is to take time to relax & appreciate good ol’ mother nature. It is important to manage stress as chronic high stress can take a huge negative toll on your immune system (and overall well being)!
Here are some of Dr. Julie and Theresa’s favorite nutrients, herbs, and tips:
(most available for purchase through our office or at your local trusted apothecary or pharmacy)
- Load up on immune boosting superfoods such as dark leafy greens, berries, and broccoli
- Astragalus: Boosts the immune system by increasing the number of T helper cells to fight a cold, cough, or even bronchitis.
- Quercetin: A natural mast-cell stabilizer that plays a role in allergies and allergic symptoms.
- Zinc: Not only a super boost for your immune system, but essential for brain and mood health, and also helps prevent the release of histamine.
- Vitamin A: Anti-inflammatory working at the level of smooth muscle. Works well to alleviate that tight chest cold and/or dry hacking bronchial cough.
- Viracid by Orthomolecular This product contains a blend of nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, L-Lysine, Astragalus, elderberry, and more for comprehensive immune support.
- Sinatrol by Orthomolecular provides support for upper respiratory challenges. Standardized botanical extracts and nutrients (thyme, turmeric, bromelain, NAC, and more) support sinus health by reducing the viscosity of mucus, clearing airway passages, and promoting nasal microbial and inflammatory balance.
- NAC: N Acetyl Cysteine: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a powerful amino acid that decreases thickness of mucus. NAC helps to dissolve mucus by breaking disulfide bonds that create mucus density, allowing for easier drainage of mucus. NAC is also a precursor to the body’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is an essential component of a healthy immune response.
- Vitamin D3: 20,000 IU per day for 5 days
- Vitamin C Buffered: 1 scoop (2000mg) twice per day
- Pelargonium sidoides (or umckaloabo) brand names include V Clear by Integrative Therapeutics or Umcka by Nature’s Way: take at the first hint of symptoms and continue until they subside
- Oscillococcinum: 1 tube every 4 hours for first 2 days (prevention-1 dose weekly)
- Sinus Rinse: Neilmed and other brands make some great saline solution rinses and other products to help with sinus inflammation
- Lemon Tea: 3 lemons, 2 inches ginger root, 1 quart hot water, honey to taste
- Chicken Soup or bone broth (homemade & organic)
- Stay hydrated!
- Peppermint essential oil
- Elderberry Packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins that are a superboost to the immune system, Elderberry has been shown to suppress flu & cold symptoms and support healthy respiratory and immune function.
- Talk to your doctor about whether the flu shot is right for you. If you are unable to or choose not to receive a flu shot, we do offer a homeopathic version of influenza protection for patients ages 2 and up. This can be vaccine-alternative for some or can also be used to directly treat symptoms of the flu. Call and speak with Theresa if you would like to learn more!
Prevention or recovery, we are here to help you health journey and meet you where you are at!
Here’s to your health!
*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease.
By: Julie Reardon. MD & Theresa Hernandez APN/CNP