To heck with an ounce of prevention - this autumn and winter we are all looking for a bucket of it, so let’s do this!
Number one: keep washing your hands - soap & water will do.
Wear a mask when at indoor public locations, and whenever asked to do so.
In the kitchen: emphasize colourful vegetables, proteins, nuts, seeds, sprouts, fresh fruit. Include ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, bone broth.
Avoid or greatly limit your intake of refined sugars. This can be more challenging than you may think - you may not eat desserts, but did you know it is in most cereals, condiments, and salad dressings? It’s even in many crackers, pizza crusts, and prepared hummus. Be sure to check ingredient labels; all items ending in ‘-ose’ are sugar, as are ‘syrup’, ‘cane’, and of course ‘sugar’. Why avoid them? Because these sugars can impair immune function for several hours, making it easier to acquire infections, and more difficult to recover. Be particularly mindful of this while packing lunches & snacks for children in school.
Stay well hydrated with water and herbals teas. Aim to consume at least half your body weight, in ounces each day (Eg. a 160lb person requires ~80oz).
Get outside: fresh air for your lungs and brain, movement to help your lymphatic system (important part of your immune system), time in nature to help calm your stress response, and more open space for connecting safely with others.
Let’s talk about stress. When we encounter a stressor our body increases its production of cortisol - our primary stress hormone. This helps us deal with the threat in front of us. However, it also impairs immune function while elevated, making us more susceptible to acquiring infection. Make time for hobbies, pleasurable activities, being in nature, meditation, yoga, and connecting with people who make you feel good about life.
Supplements that can help support immune function include*: vitamin D3, the herbal formula called Deep Immune (St.Francis), elderberry, reishi mushroom, zinc, vitamin C, and probiotics. At the first sign of symptoms add oil of oregano, andrographis, goldenseal, vitamin A, and boost vitamins D&C. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor (ND) to determine dosing and which compounds will be most appropriate for your symptoms. From your ND, you can learn if you need to boost your levels of vitamin D and zinc, via testing. Vitamin D is measured in blood, whereas zinc can be assessed through a simple in-clinic mouth swish with a liquid solution.
We’re all in this together - every good choice you make for yourself will help others.
Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay home when feeling unwell.
*These are general suggestions and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Discuss this with your qualified healthcare practitioner, especially if you are pregnant, taking medications or dealing with a chronic disease.