1. Wash Your Hands! It’s easy to forget the basics. According to the World Health Association, washing your hands can reduce your chances of getting respiratory infection by 24%. It’s best to use soap and water and lather up for a minimum of 30 seconds; however, if hand sanitizer is your only option, use it, but do so sparingly.
2. Sleep. For prevention of or treating a cold, get your eight hours a night (or more!). The immune system works at night, while we sleep. So, give up your evening TV show or post-dinner work session and get to bed early!
- Eliminate all white sugar (small amounts of honey, stevia, or maple syrup are OK). Sugar can literally slow down the functioning of your white blood cells.
- Drink more hot herbal tea and hot water (but not coffee). Drinking hot fluids can help to reduce a virus’ ability to bind to your throat where it prefers to replicate. So, if you are exposed, drink up! Some teas I like are peppermint, Gypsy Cold Care® by Traditional Medicinals, and Egyptian Licorice® by Yogi Tea. Bulk herbal tea blends are even better. Try a Dr. Elise herbal blend, such as Tummy Tea, Women’s Tea, or Detox Tea.
- Eat more soups and stews. Soups and stews, especially those made from bone broth, have been shown to improve immunity and shorten the length of a cold.
- Skip the fruit juice and opt for whole fruits. Fruit juice (e.g., orange juice) is full of fruit sugars, which can hinder immune function in concentrated doses. Next time you’re tempted to pour yourself a tall glass of juice, eat a whole raw piece of fruit instead. If you must drink fruit juice, dilute it 50% with filtered water.
4. Exercise. Another great reason to get out there and move your body is that regular exercise strengthens immunity. What you want to do is walk, swim, or otherwise engage your entire body in movement for a 30- to 40-minute period every other day. No need to over stress yourself, as a hard workout is not indicated when fighting off a cold. Get out there and move!
5. Herbs and vitamins can provide that needed support. There are a lot of different opinions out there regarding what the best formulas are for treating and preventing viral infections such as the common cold or the flu. In my 12 years of experience experimenting with herbs and vitamins, I have found the following to be the BEST.
- Super Bio Vegetarian tablets –– If someone you work with or live with is sick- start taking 1-2 tablets 3 times each day. If you have already fallen ill, then take 2 tablets every 2 hours for 3 days then reduce to three times a day. If you are pregnant or nursing please do not take this supplement.
- Elderberry Elixer (fruit anthocyanins) –– This particular berry syrup is not only delicious, but a potent and effective immune support. Its easy to take this one because it tastes so good. Take 1 teaspoon a day for prevention and 1 teaspoon 3 times a day when sick.
- Arctic D Cod Liver Oil –– This liquid form of cod liver oil does not taste overly fishy- it’s palatable and many people enjoy it. It’s packed with naturally occurring vitamin D and vitamin A, both important for immune function. Take 1 teaspoon a day for prevention and 2 Tablespoons a day for treatment. If you are pregnant, stick to 1 teaspoon a day so you don’t get too much vitamin A.
So, there you have it. Five ways to keep your immune system up and running this winter. If you are interested in stocking up on some cold and flu prevention supplements, these three are on sale this month. Get 10% off my favorite three supplements while supplies last!