A few simple things go a long way in keeping you healthy during cold & flu season! Something as simple as washing your hands frequently throughout the day will make a huge difference in preventing cold & flu. There are some key herbs and supplements that I use to keep my patients healthy during this time of year.
During the Winter, one thing we're all lacking is natural sunlight, especially if you're living in the Northeast. A lot of recent clinical trials have shown the importance of Vitamin D3 in building immunity. In my clinic, Vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies we see in blood work. One recent study shows as many as 56% of adults lacking in Vitamin D. Children as well have also been found to have insufficient levels of Vitamin D which greatly affects their immunity. In addition, current research is showing a deficiency in Vitamin D with patients with auto-immune disorders.
Some ways to ensure you're getting enough Vitamin D are to get 20 minutes of natural sunlight per day or to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. This can be found at your favorite local health food store.
Current research is showing the enormous benefit of probiotics to increase immunity. A healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system. The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that athletes had about 40% fewer colds when they took a probiotic compared to when taking placebos.
Taking a broad spectrum high quality probiotic during cold and flu season will help to protect you.
Elderberries are phenomenal immunity boosters! Research shows Eldeberry may have been used as far back as pre-historic times. The elder plant is used for colds, flus, chronic inflammation and sinus congestion. Elderberry has natural anti-viral properties -- something as simple as an Elderberry syrup taken for coughs can have a dramatic positive effect on the whole immune system. Drinking Elderberry tea will also soothe cold & flu symptoms, fever, soar throat, coughing and fatigue.
Mushrooms have long been known to be powerful, anti-biotic, anti-virus, anti-yeast and to contain anti-cancerous properties. Mushrooms are an amazing superfood available to us. The following are some of my favorites: Maitake, Shiitake, Reishi & Lion's Mane. Specifically, Maitake, Shiitake and Reishi are known to be excellent immune system builders. Taking these mushrooms in combination or individually can be an excellent addition to your Winter routine.