As we look forward to pumpkins, glorious autumn colors, cooler weather and bonfires there is one thing that is not to anticipate…the dreaded cold and flu season.
I’d like to take a look at how we can prepare naturally to remain as healthy as possible.
Vitamin C is an all time favorite booster for the immune system and can even help prevent chronic disease. A supplement can be taken daily year around with an increased dosage during this time of year. Don’t have any on hand? Chili Peppers, fresh Thyme, Bell Peppers, Kale, Kiwi and oranges are some produce picks that are packed with C.
Vitamin D is a hot topic lately. We usually get free D from the sun but as we lose daylight for the season, many people cannot be outside the few minutes it takes to boost their D levels. A Vitamin D supplement may be something to think about! Our family has firsthand experience at dealing with the effects of a low Vitamin D level, so we know it is a valid concern.
Elderberry is a native plant found in Oklahoma. The berries from the plant are known as a superfood, high in flavonoids which act as a barrier between cells and foreign invaders. It is most popular in syrup form, purchased or homemade, and can be taken as a preemptive or during times of illness. Many people will not do a cold and flu season without Elderberry Syrup in their arsenal. Shake before each use and keep in the fridge.
At the first sign of a cold we cut out all dairy from the diet. Dairy is thought of as a mucous producer although studies vary. We play it safe and omit any cheese, ice cream, yogurt, cream cheese…you get the picture. Our family uses Almond Milk although dairy products do find their way in the door.
Cutting out processed sugar (corn syrup, fructose, dextrose and more) which is known to be an immune depressant, can help keep you and your family healthy. Onions and garlic are especially important during this time of year. They are part of the allium family and are known to stimulate the immune response. Go ahead and throw in that extra garlic when you cook…I figure if we all have garlic breath it will be okay. Odorless garlic supplements are available.
Washing your hands often after being in public is paramount and we avoid the automatic hand driers in public restrooms. Sadly, there is a chance they blow germs around the atmosphere and onto hands.
These are certainly not the only ways to boost the immune system but a good start. Everything mentioned can be found in children and adult formulas and be purchased at a health food store or ordered online. If pregnant or nursing please consult your physican. Please take note of dosages and contact your doctor with any changes to your diet or routine. Please feel free to find me on facebook for recipes, tips and more!
Brooke DeLong, N.D.