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Arm Yourself this Cold and Flu Season!

Tips and tricks to avoid downtime during this years cold and flu season

-By Dr. Katie Weststrate, ND

Every year around this time, people start asking me what I recommend for cold and flu season. The first thing I stress is the importance of prevention. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! By keeping your body healthy, and giving your immune system what it needs to function optimally, you stand your best chance of keeping the bugs at bay, or defeating them quickly should you catch something.

Consider the Following for Optimal Immune Function:

  • Aim for 7-8 hrs of quality sleep per night
  • Avoid refined sugar and minimize stress as they suppress immune function
  • Avoid packaged, processed ‘dead’ foods
  • Focus on whole ‘live’ foods (fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean protein, good fats, legumes and whole grains) – your grandma’s chicken soup really is a good thing for a cold!
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Take a broad spectrum probiotic (especially if you’ve been on antibiotics!)
  • Stay active, including strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise in moderation
  • If you wish to supplement, consider the following nutrients needed for immune function: Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil!), vitamins A, B complex including folic acid and C and the minerals magnesium and zinc
  • Hydration – aim for 2L/day!

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