By: Melanie Reidl, Naturopathic Doctor
With the start of fall, there is so much beauty to enjoy. However, along with fall colours and apples, cold and flu season has begun. To help you avoid your Kleenex box, I will share my top 5 tactics to aid in avoiding cold and flu viruses!
1) Sleep + Minimize Stress – I’ve seen it time and time again, those who skip on sleep and go through stressful weeks end up sick. Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible, and incorporate stress reducing activities and mindfulness into your daily routine.
2) Avoid Sugar, Refined Carbohydrates + Alcohol – Sugar and high glycemic index foods cause a depression in white blood cell count within 12 hours of consuming them. This means you’re more likely to fall sick since your body doesn’t have the same defences.
3) Eat Foods with Protein, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin C – Each of the nutrients listed has an important role in immunity. A mindfully planned whole foods diet will include them, however if you’d like more direction with this, we can create a meal plan for you that includes the right immunity super foods!
4) Supplement with Vitamin D3 in Therapeutic Doses – With less sunlight and lower UV exposure in the fall/winter, it is important to supplement with Vitamin D3 at a therapeutic dose that will give your immune system what it needs.
5) Keep Your Gut Healthy – Eat probiotic and prebiotic foods, avoid sugar, and supplement with specific probiotic strains to keep your microbiome healthy. The healthier your gut/microbiome is, the better your defences will be against viruses + bacteria.
***If cold/flu symptoms do come on, there are lots of amazing natural remedies that can expedite your recovery and have you feeling better! Schedule to see Dr. Nevena (who is covering for Melanie’s maternity leave) if you need some naturopathic support to fight a cold/flu or to prevent recurrent infections this fall.