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Top 10 Ways to Naturally Fight Cold and Flu Season

Want to avoid getting knocked down by a nasty cold or flu this winter? Try my top 10 tips below to give your immune system the upper hand!

  • Eat your veggies. Vegetables are packed with nutrients, which act as natural immune-builders. Dark leafy greens like spinach, arugula, kale, and collards are nature’s natural detoxers and help pull toxins out of our system, keeping us healthier.
  • Garlic. Garlic is an extremely powerful antiviral/antibacterial agent. If you feel a cold coming on: chop up a clove and swallow it like little pills with some juice or water. You won’t get the garlic breath you would from chewing it, but you’ll get the antiviral benefits. It works!
  • Increase Omega 3 intake. Omega 3’s give us glowing skin, shiny hair, strong nails, and a strong immune system. Eat chia seeds, ground flax seeds, walnuts, wild salmon, sardines, mackerel. You can also consider taking fish oil pills which I have found to be very effective for me and my clients (start with 3gr/day).
  • Get your Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help with digestion and keeping our system running smoothly. Probiotics are found in supplements, such as probiotic capsules, and also in cultured, fermented foods like real pickles, yogurt, miso soup.
  • Move. Get in some movement every day – even 10 minutes counts. Whether it’s walking or a trip to the gym or a yoga class, exercise keeps everything circulating properly and keeps you healthier in turn.
  • Vitamin D. Many of us get vitamin D deficient this time of year, due to lack of sun exposure. Without enough vitamin D in our body, the immune system can suffer dramatically.Consider supplementing: 2000 IUs is a good place to start. Or give yourself a vacation to someplace warm and sunny!
  • Detox your liver. A natural liver detoxer for overindulgence and excess alcohol is hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, which helps boost our liver’s functioning and draws out unwanted toxins.
  • Stay hydrated. Boosting water intake is a great way to keep everything humming along nicely in our body, including our immune system. Dry air and indoor heating can leave us dehydrated and more vulnerable to infection. Aim for a minimum of 8 big glasses a day of water. And when you’re looking for more of a “treat,” consider a glass of coconut water: it’s great for hangovers, hydration, and is super energy-boosting due to its high level of natural electrolytes. Look for 100% coconut water, no sugar added.
  • Relax. Stress impacts our immunity. Do your best to prioritize sleep this time of year whenever possible. Set boundaries. Get in relaxing, meditative activities whenever and however you can.
  • Don’t forget your zinc: Zinc is an important micromineral that we need to help keep our immunity strong and our bodies vibrant. If we don’t get enough zinc through our diet, we can end up deficient — leading us to feel sick and low-energy. If you have IBS, take birth control pills, have been on a course of antibiotics recently, or take antacids regularly, chances are your body is low in zinc. Reach for zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach, grass-fed beef or lamb, broccoli, collards, mustard greens, and shrimp to boost your intake. And consider supplementing with 40 mg of zinc per day to bring your levels up.