Flu season definitely here, and it seems to be hitting harder than ever. It’s been labeled as an epidemic, spreading across the country, as more and more people are getting this dreaded illness that can leave you feeling achy and bed ridden.
It’s understandable if you’re doing all you can to avoid it––but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside with your doors locked until spring finally comes. There are some amazing holistic ways to enhance your immune system and keep you feeling great!
Thanks to Elissa Goodman, Holistic Nutritionist, for sharing some of your favorite flu-fighting and immune boosting tips and tricks to help stay healthy. From incredible supplements to easy lifestyle changes, here’s what she recommends this flu season!
- Goldenseal Echinacea (brand: Nature’s Answer Alcohol Free Liquid/Capsules or Gaia Capsules) – This mix of two powerful immune boosting-herbs is the perfect combination to be taking at the first sign of flu/cold symptoms. Echinacea is a great anti-inflammatory and can stimulate some vital immune cells to help you fight disease, while goldenseal can act as a natural antibiotic and has been shown effective in fighting influenza.
- Astragalus (brand: Nature’s Answer Alcohol Free Liquid/Capsules or Gaia Capsules) – Astragalus is an age-old immune remedy, used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help the body stave off disease. It’s high in antioxidants and has some powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- Black Elderberry (brand: Gaia, either drops or syrup) – There’s a chance you may already be using this amazing herb––as it makes for a pretty popular flavor of jam. But, chances are, you haven’t heard about it’s incredible immune-boosting properties. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants, this herb helps to keep your immune system balanced and high functioning.
- Vitamin C (brand: Lypo-Spheric Gel Packets or Pure Encapsulations Ester-C) – This was the one that you most likely saw coming. Vitamin C plays a big role in immunity, if you’re getting proper amounts it can help slow a virus from multiplying and both prevent and relieve certain symptoms. Eating whole fruits and vegetables like peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries, oranges, tomatoes and green peas can take you a long way with maintaining your C levels.
- Vitamin D (brand: Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D 5000 IU) – If you’re deficient in Vitamin D, you’re more likely to get sick, so that’s why it’s important, especially now, to make sure you’re getting proper amounts. As well as assisting and maintaining immune function, Vitamin D is also an antimicrobial agent which can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. During the colder months our Vitamin D levels may drop below the recommended daily amount which is 600 IU for men and women.
- Sleep – I cannot stress enough how important a good night’s sleep is to optimal health. So many studies have shown that lack of sleep can seriously weaken your immune system. So be sure you’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
- Regular exercise – Regular exercise is a key prevention strategy for most ailments. It helps to improve the circulation of immune cells in your blood, which neutralizes viruses. Maintaining your exercise routine will help you to get a good night’s sleep and absorb more benefits from your healthy foods and high quality supplements.
- Hydration – If you do end up getting the flu, hydration when you’re sick (especially if you have a fever) is key. But if you’re trying to prevent the flu from ever happening, hydration can help. Being dehydrated can actually weaken your immune system, so it’s important to stay properly hydrated at all times. For extra flu-fighting benefits, add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, it helps to purify your lymphatic system, which is crucial when you’re sick. Squeeze ½ lemon in one cup of purified warm water and drink 3 or more times daily.
- Gut Health – It has been found that a significant proportion of your immune system (about 80%) is in your gut. Maintaining digestive health is crucial to flu prevention, so reducing processed foods, sugar & artificial sweeteners, dairy, gluten and conventional animal proteins, just to name a few will help keep the inflammation down in your body. I also always suggest taking high quality probiotics and eating fermented foods to improve the balance of gut flora.
So many people have been asking me my thoughts about the flu vaccine. I’ve never been a big fan, because it seems impossible to create a flu vaccine when influenza has a different genetic pattern each time it replicates and is different every year. Each year’s flu vaccine is created from the previous year. In my opinion, the flu vaccine is nothing more than a money-generating toxic injection. That’s why I prefer these natural remedies.
Here’s to staying healthy this flu season!