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Your immune system is engaged in a war that started before you were born and will continue through to the end of your life. There are many complex systems working within the immune system to keep you protected from viruses, bacteria, parasites, and any other type of unwanted guests. If your immune system is working well, you tend to walk through your days relatively without care. If it is not working as it should, you may find your immune system overreacts to harmless targets such as with allergies (your immune system reacts to pollen, cat dander, gluten etc. the same as it would to a virus or bacteria), and with autoimmune disease (this is when your own immune system attacks and destroys specific healthy parts of you). On the other end of the spectrum, your immune system may be compromised due to chronic illness, poor diet, or even medical treatment which leaves you vulnerable to getting sick time and time again. No matter how strong or compromised our immune systems may be, we all get sick sometimes.

It's no coincidence that the peak season for colds and the flu line up with winter and the holidays. This time of year creates the ideal conditions for germs to spread and successfully set up shop in your body. Even the healthiest among us can fall victim to a nasty respiratory infection, sinus infection, head cold or worse yet, the flu. So, How Can We Fight Back This Cold and Flu Season?

Ten Ways to Keep the Sniffles Away

  1. An Immune based Multi-Vitamin or herbal

    A general mutli-vitamin is great for overall health, but as you can see from this list, there are some nutrients more directly linked to a strong immune system. Taking an immune multi-vitamin like Immuplex , or a multi-herbal like Jade Windscreen you can mount the best possible defense against the cold or flu this season.

  2. Catch some extra Z's

    Go to bed early. Nap during the day. Sleep in a little later. When you are sleeping, your immune system is given the green light to do its thing, so let it.

  3. Increase your water intake

    Staying hydrated helps keep all those wonderful linings in your nose, mouth, throat, and sinuses moist, which helps them trap germs. Also, staying hydrated helps prevent mucus from becoming too thick.

  4. Ease up on the Junk Food

    When you want your immune system to be its best, it's up to you to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. The holidays are filled with foods that rob us of our health, and you don't need to avoid them all, just make sure you are eating more of the foods mentioned here than the foods laid out on the dessert table.

  5. Bone Broth

    This stuff is packed with a ton of nutrients to help you feel good. You can find it in the grocery store or you can make it at home using this recipe . Whether you make it at home or buy it premade, make sure high quality chicken or beef was used. Look for words like grass fed, free range, organic, etc. You can sip on it or use it in some of your favorite recipes, like chicken noodle soup

  6. Fermented Foods

    Loading up on foods like sauerkraut, fermented pickles (Bubbies is a great brand), kefir, and full fat yogurt help provide your gut with good bacteria that will help boost your immune system. For more info on fermented foods click here.

  7. Consume more Zinc

    There are few nutrients that are as crucial to the immune system as zinc is. Foods such as beef, chicken, oysters, salmon, and pumpkin seeds can help keep your body full of zinc. If none of these suit your fancy, here is a longer list of foods high in zinc.

  8. Up your Vitamin A

    That wasn't a typo, while most people equate Vitamin C with the immune system, Vitamin A is an amazing antioxidant and immune booster. Carrots, sweet potatoes, Kale, and sweet red peppers all have adequate amounts of Vitamin A. Here is a more complete list.

  9. Garlic

    Garlic can be a potent anti-viral. It is best to either eat it raw or to mince or slice it up and let it sit for ~10 mins before cooking with it. This preserves garlic's immune supporting properties.

  10. Andrographis & Echinacea

    These are both powerhouse immune supportive herbs. Standard Process offers both of them in one supplement, Andrographis Complex , which can stop germs in their tracks. It's best to take this when people around you are getting sick, or the second you start to feel a tickle in your throat.

**The best offense is always a great defense. Need some help being the healthiest you year round, click here.**

So, what do you do if you have already gotten sick?
While not getting sick in the first place is the preferred option, despite our best efforts, it doesn't always work out that way.
Below are some options for short term relief, symptom management, and quick recovery.

    Start Feeling Better Now

  • Neti Pot
  • Andrographis Complex by Standard Process
  • Ginger Tea with raw honey
  • Hot water with Lemon, raw honey, and cinnamon
  • Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath or make your own mix with these instructions .
  • Chicken noodle soup w/ astragalus root
  • Emphaplex from Standard Process for coughs and congestions
  • Eucalyptus Oil or Olbas Oil- in a diffuser or boil a pot of water, remove from heat, put a few drops of the oil in, drape towel over your head and breathe in the vapors

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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