Flu season is coming, and it's hitting hard! One of the best things we can do to prevent getting the flu, or minimizing how hard it hits us, is to boost our immune system so we are ready to fight off the bug.
This is not a supplement I would take daily, but if the cold and flu bugs are hitting your home or office, it's time to add it to the daily routine. Echinacea has been proven to help prevent the common cold when taken prior to or at the first signs of symptoms. It works best for treating an upper respiratory infection.
The sunshine supplement! Especially here in cold and rainy Washington, we need more vitamin D in our diets. This is readily available from sunshine, but when we don't get much sun (and a tropical vacation isn't an option), taking liquid vitamin D3 is a great option. It's tasteless, and you only need a few drops so adding it in your glass or water or just taking it straight is simple to do. You can also get D3 from fish and eggs.
Spending a few relaxing minutes in an infrared sauna can help improve the immune system. Similar to the body's reaction when getting a fever and fighting off the bad germs, an infrared sauna will raise the core temperature of your body and engage the immune system to respond. It’s basically a workout for your immune system. The stronger your immune system, the better it will be when you need to fight off a flu virus.
Silver is one of the most underrated and unknown supplements considering all of its capabilities. While you should not use it daily (typically not for more than two weeks straight), it's short-term benefits are astounding. It can be used internally to help boost immunity and externally to treat wounds.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Getting the good bacteria in your diet is key to maintaining gut health and overall immune function. Getting good sources of prebiotics in addition to probiotics is important. Prebiotics work as the food for probiotics. Some easy ways to get the prebiotics into your diet are raw leeks, garlic, onions, and asparagus. Sources of good probiotics are fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, and kombucha. Together, prebiotics and probiotics help to build and maintain the good bacteria in your gut.
If you should come down with a cold or flu, it's essential to maintain healthy eating. While it may sound comforting at the time, loading up on sugary drinks or foods will only feed the virus and keep you feeling ill. Instead, load up on liquids like water and tea and limit the sugary juice or sports drinks. You can stock up on electrolytes via sea salt, bone broth, or coconut water.
Load up on garlic, elderberry, vitamin C, and Echinacea if you have the flu hit you or your household. If you have a sore throat or a deep cough, adding some local honey and apple cider vinegar to tea or hot water can help break it up and keep you hydrated.
And of course, don't forget to wash your hands often and stay home if you are sick!