1. Limit sugar, including alcohol, which is also a type of sugar. Sugar, and alcohol depress your immune system for up to 5 hours after consumption. They limit your white blood cell's ability to eat bacteria by up to 40%. So though it might be tempting to have some sweets or a few glasses of wine when you're out at your holiday parties, that's actually the worst time to have them. Pass on the booze and the sugar during flu season and you'll be happy you did!
2. Rest up. Make sure you are getting at least 7- 8 hours of sleep each night, and reducing your stress levels as much as you can. When you're sleep deprived and stressed out your body's cortisol levels go up up up! Sustained cortisol levels weaken your immune system leaving you vulnerable to viral or bacterial infections.
3. Eat garlic. Garlic contains allicin which is a powerful immune booster, and anti-microbial. For a stronger effect try to eat it less cooked vs more cooked. Raw garlic is actually pretty edible if you chop it up fine and put it in olive oil or mashed avocado. Eating 2 cloves a day during flu season can really keep the germs away.
4. Chase that garlic with a cup of tea. Black and green tea contain L-theanine which helps your immune system make a stronger attack on viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
5. Have your elderberry syrup on hand! Elderberry syrup is a potent anti viral remedy. You can take one teaspoon per day to prevent colds and flus. If you suspect you might have already caught something take two teaspoons three times a day. And don't forget, once you first start feeling symptoms, the clock starts ticking! Your chances of getting rid of the cold or flu before it sinks into you are always better if you take your elderberry syrup sooner vs later. Ideally you want to take your first dose within 18 hours of first feeling symptoms.
6. Take Vitamin D supplements. If you are not deficient in Vitamin D, taking extra supplementation won't help much, but if you are deficient, if you don't get out in the sun much, or don't eat many dairy foods, then taking this supplement will drastically reduce your chance of getting colds and flus.
7. Heal your gut! This is the one that often surprises people. But did you know that 70% of your immune cells live in your gut walls? It's true. So if you have digestion issues, you will most likely have compromised immunity. Come talk to our acupuncture physicians about improving your gut health. We can put together a plan for you to heal your gut and your immunity.