It’s cold and flu season and everyone is getting sick. In my family my kid has literally been sick with one thing after another for the past few months. This is his first winter in preschool and I swear he comes home every week picking up a different bug. This past week when I went to drop him off I could tell his little school buddy was not well at all. All my mothering instincts told me to grab my kid and run but I left him anyway and of course today he is sick again and spiking a fever. My partner was sick in bed for an entire week with the flu last month and everywhere I go people are coughing. I’m happy to say I haven’t been sick. I credit a big part of this to a strong immune system and a whole set of things I do almost daily during cold and flu season to not get sick. For starters, being sick with a kid is the worst scenario and well I just don’t like being sick, it effects my sleep and my mood. So, here is what I do, maybe you find a few things you want to adopt as the this years cold and flu season come to an end and some you may want to try next year.
This may seem like a no brainer but its crucial. If I’m tired I put my sleep as priority. Sometimes I even have to cancel plans with friends or skip a workout so I can go to bed early. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system so start your healthcare routine with adequate sleep
- Ginger and Lemon
Most days I take a strong “shot” of ginger and lemon. I sometimes make it my own and sometimes buy it at my local juice bar. Lemon is high in vitamin C, which will naturally boost your immune system, and ginger has antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and boost the immune system.
Lemon Ginger Tonic
To make this tonic combine:
½ cup lemon juice
3 cups water
2 tablespoons ginger
Pinch of cayenne
Throw all of the above ingredients into the blender, blend till combined and enjoy. You can add a bit of honey or stevia if it’s too strong.
- Throat and Gland Spray- I take this!
I buy it at the local health food store and have been taking it the past three winters. I swear by this stuff. I take it only when I start feeling like I may be coming down with something and I swear it wards of everything.
- Elderberry Syrup
During the cold and flu season I take a tablespoon of this a day and more if I feel like my immune system is fighting something specific off. Elderberry is known as one of the top antiviral herbs on the planet. When taken within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms it has been show to reduce severity of a cold. Elderberry has many benefits and uses and keeping you healthy is one of them.
- OnGaurd Essential Oil
Almost every night I diffuse essential oil for my son and me. OnGaurd is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils that naturally support the immune system and protect against seasonal threats.
- Take Fish Oil
Be sure to take a high quality, toxin free fish oil. Fish oil was know to be an anti inflammatory for awhile now but studies show fish oil, particularly fish oil high is DHA enhances the activity of while blood cells also know as B cells, and therefore the ability to fight infection.
- Take a Probiotic
Probiotics are a must have for cold and flu season especially if you have to go on a round of antibiotics. By increasing good bacteria in the gut you naturally help your body stay strong internally and fight off infection.
- Check your Vitamin D levels.
Many of us have low vitamin D levels. I would recommend checking your levels before you start taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is a crucial component of activating your immune system so be sure your getting enough of this important vitamin.
- Meditate to decrease stress.
Stress decreases immunity. If there are current stressful situations in relating to your career, your relationships or finances it is best to address them by finding the best support. Your health very literally may depend on it. If you are looking for a practical way to decrease stress, that anyone can do, try meditation. A simple meditation I like to start with is to find a quiet place and sit upright in comfortable position. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and begin to pay attention to your breathing. A great way to do this is to inhale to the count of four, pause and the top and then exhale to the count of four. You can continue like this until your timer goes off. The sort of deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system and gets you out of flight or flight mode. Your body and your health will thank you.
- Eat Well
Eat well. Consume large amounts of whole, plant-based foods. Eat plenty of leafy greens. Avoid and limit sugar and processed foods. Proper nutrition will give your body the strength it needs to protect itself from colds and flu.
We all get sick sometimes but following all or some of these guidelines will help your body to use it immune system to naturally fight off colds and flu.
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