The weather is cooling down and the risks increase for getting a cold or more seriously the flu. This not only makes us feel terrible and can have serious health outcomes especially in the very young and the very old but also causes loss of income when we need to take time of work or to look after sick relatives. In these circumstances the old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very accurate.
There are lots of proactive steps we can take to strengthen our innate immune system so that if we are exposed to an infection we can mount a more effective response and help reduce its severity.
Once of the best simple things you can do is take daily Vitamin C. An adult dose is 500 to 1,000 mg daily. I have found with my patients that the trick is to take the Vit C before you are exposed to the infection. Especially for example taking it before you go on a plane flight to reduce the risk of catching any virus present from any passenger due to the lovely recycled air. If you already have a cold or flu starting to take Vit C then doesn’t seem to reduce the duration or severity of the infection.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone and is crucial to our immune system functioning efficiently. Don’t underestimate the power of getting outside daily in the fresh air and being exposed to short periods of sunlight. 10 minutes a day exposing lower arms and legs can produce up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D and this short time period restricts exposure to harmful UV rays.
Medical research now understands how crucial our gut microbiome is to assisting the function of our immune system and good quality probiotics and strong digestion helps keep the lymphatic immune system in the intestine balanced. An efficient way to achieve both of these is with the use of fermented papaya products containing both digestive enzymes and probiotics and has also been shown to improve the functioning of the immune system itself.
As well as putting efforts into strengthening our immune system is it important to keep in mind that there are lots of things in our lifestyles that can weaken our immune system. Sugar is a big culprit and actually impairs the immune system and stops it being able to effectively fight infections. Not getting enough sleep is another common problem. Good old stress always takes its toll and puts or body into fight, flight or freeze mode. This stops the immune system being able to mount an adequate response and often prolongs and worsens the symptoms of a cold or flu.
So please look after yourselves leading up to the cold and flu season. Take a proactive approach, eat well, rest and look after your gut.
Related Article here How to Have Radiant Skin this Mother’s Day