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Fighting It Off - Tackling Cold and Flu Season with Katie Weststrate, Naturopathic Doctor

Fighting it Off – Cold and Flu Season – Katie Weststrate, MScCH, ND

With the change of season comes a change in habits; we stay inside, close our windows, vitamin D levels fall as sun exposure declines and diets change from fresh nutrient rich fruits and vegetables to warming ‘comfort’ foods. Below are several ways to strengthen and support your immune system to keep those nasty viruses at bay:


– Water- ensuring you are well hydrated. Aim for 2L/d of filtered water

– Protein – at least 1gm/kg of body weight

– Vegetable consumption, trade in your creamy soups for vegetable rich soups and stews- 5 servings/d minimum

– Essential fatty acids – increase consumption of omega 3 rich cold water fish, raw nuts and seeds

– Exercise, even 20 brisk walking/d has been shown to benefit health!

– Sleep, at least 7 hours of ‘quality’ sleep/night



– Refined sugars and caffeine which increase stress and depress immune function

– Common food allergens such as cow dairy, wheat, corn, peanuts

– Minimize exposure to moulds, chemicals, and dust which can stress the immune system


Immune Supportive Supplements to Consider**

-Omega 3 rich fish oil

-Probiotics – the good bacteria (either as supplement or in organic yogurt or kefir). Especially important after being on antibiotics

-A good quality multivitamin, rich in the B vitamins, folic acid, vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium and zinc

-Additional Vitamin C – to bowel tolerance (usually around 6000-8000 mg /day)

-Zinc lozenges (max 60 mg of zinc per day with food)

-Echinacea – tincture or capsules between meals


Anti-microbial Supplements:

-Garlic – 2 caps 3x/day between meals

-Oil of oregano – 5 drops in water 3x/day between meals


**If you have any specific health conditions or are on medications you may want to speak with your health care provider to determine which supplements, and at which dosages, may be best for you.

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