Blog

15 Tips to Prevent Colds and Flus

sick-sick-sick1.Eat Like You are Worth it…

Have some protein with every meal.  Proteins are the building blocks of the body.  This includes your immune AND detox systems.  Eat multiple servings of colorful, phyto-nutrient rich vegetables and fruit.  Choose more leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and squash.

2.Avoid Toxins and Immune System Robbers… 

Processed food, gluten, sugars, excess carbs, industrial seed oils, soy and alcohol all remove an abundance of quality nutrients from the body in order to metabolize. 

3.Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals…

Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties which help to boost your immunity by not only enhancing your body’s own reaction to outside invaders, but by also acting as natural medicines themselves to fend them off.  Raw is best.  Oregano holds anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Turmeric, according to studies,has a promising disease-preventive agent called curcumin (a powerful antioxidant) that supports an anti-inflammatory reaction in the body.

4.Take in Fermented Foods and or Probiotics…

As I have written before – An average of 75% of our immune system cells reside in our gut.  If you have intestinal dysbiosis or poor gut flora, you’ll be more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections (and colds and flus).  Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kvass, strengthen and maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first line of defense against pathogens.

5.Make Bone Broth and Savor…

A study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center wondered what it was in the soup that made it so beneficial for colds and flu.  They found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion.  Also, research is proving it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma, and arthritis.  Here’s my recipe for my Sunday slow-cooked bone broth.

6.Enjoy Some Green Tea…

Green tea contains antiviral components that may also be helpful against flu infection.  Love my morning matcha!

7.Sleep Longer and Rest More…

Getting adequate sleep and rest is perhaps the most important thing you can do to optimize your immune function. Just a few nights of not sleeping well can elevate inflammatory markers and reduce the protective capability of your immune system.

8.Exercise Regularly but Don’t Over Do It…

Exercise likely cuts your risk of colds so significantly because it triggers a rise in immune system cells that can attack any potential invaders. Each time you exercise you can benefit from this boost to your immune system.  Feel something coming on?  Skip a day!

9.Stay Hydrated…

Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including the immune system.  Drink herbal teas like ginger and echinacea daily. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times.  Avoid concentrated fruit juice, due to it’s high sugar content.  If you have to drink juice, at least dilute it with water.

10.Wash your Hands A Lot…

Research shows that hand washing frequently can be one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves during sick season!  Washing your hand when you are out running errands, right after working out and especially after shaking hands, is a good thing.

One more thing – If you are a hand sneezer, please use your arm or shoulder….(Maybe then karma won’t bit you in the butt when you go out to eat and your cooks are down and out.  Yikes!)

11.Get Going on a Multi…       

This is the foundation for any health support regimen. It’s a good way to cover the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs for day-to-day function. If you aren’t on a good multi-vitamin you should get and stay on one. Look for a high-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral.

12.Take in Some Vitamin C and or Zinc….

At the time of seasonal immune chaos it may be wise to take precautionary C and or Zinc. Both have antiviral activity, and may help prevent viral infections or, in the case of the common cold, reduce the severity and duration of an infection.

13.Take Your Cod Liver Oil…

Both Vitamin A and D both play a huge role in immune system health.  Fermented cod liver oil is rich in both!  Better yet, it also contains vitamin K2 and E which are also essential to health.  Because Vitamin D plays a big role in regulating the immune system you should ask your doc or health care practitioner to find out your levels.  The correct test is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

(Some people require higher doses of vitamin D to keep their 25D levels in the desired ranges.  This is especially true of those with obesity or inflammation, because these conditions impair the conversion of sunlight to vitamin D.)

14.Sweat it Out…

Saunas induce a fever-like state in the body. The temperature of your skin may rise up to 10 degrees, but your inner temperature will only raise a maximum of three degrees. Most viruses and harmful bacteria cannot survive these increased temperatures and are thus destroyed. The heat also increases the number of white blood cells in the blood which are beneficial to the immune system. It is also thought that damaged cells repair themselves more quickly under these fever-like conditions.  Of course, it is important to drink enough fluids to replace those that have been lost.

15.Address Emotional Stress…

Finding ways to manage daily stress as well as your reactions to circumstances beyond your control will contribute to a strong and resilient immune system.

Try and pick one new thing every week to try and balance your valuable immune system!

~Cat

 

University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Chicken Soup for a Cold”  http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup_newsrelease.htm (accessed 21 October  2011).

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Comments

  1. Yvonne       January 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Great article Cathy!!

Post Your Comment

*