Eschew Those Ah-Choos: Immune Boosting Solutions for Combating Colds and Flu
By Rupina Meer • March 7th, 2012 • 12499 Views
Arm yourself with these top 10 nutrition and lifestyle strategies to repel viral invaders all year long:
1. Avoid sugars (especially fructose). The first thing you want to do when you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu is to avoid ALL sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Have you ever noticed how your kids seem to fall sick right after Halloween when they've OD'd on Halloween candy? Or you're stricken with a yeast infection after indulging in those Valentine's Day truffles? I often see this pattern in my practice and that's because sugar is particularly damaging to your immune system -- which needs to be ramped up, not suppressed, in order to combat an emerging infection.
2. Do your D’s. Less than optimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections. Other than cod liver oil, raw milk and eggs there are no significant dietary sources of Vitamin D and most of our intake comes from safe exposure to sunlight. If you're not getting 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight, the next alternative is to supplement with D3. What's optimal? Aim for 50 - 70ng/ml and monitor your vitamin D status every 3 months until you are in the desired range, then cut back to a maintenance dose of at least 2,000 IU a day.
3. Boost your protein intake. Research studies have shown that deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems. Protein is composed of the 20 amino acids your body needs for growth and repair, and some of these amino acids appear to be particularly important for immune functioning. For example, the amino acids called glutamine and arginine are being considered as nutrition therapy in pre-surgery patients because of their ability to stimulate the immune system.
4. Gorge on garlic. Not only does garlic repel vampires, it also has anti-viral properties and is a known immunity booster. Ideally, go for raw garlic or crush it right before eating.
5. Cram in those Cs. Vitamin C appears to support a decrease in the length of time and severity of symptoms associated with upper respiratory viral infection. So pile your plate high with citrus fruits and dark leafy greens, such as parsley, cauliflower, and mustard greens that are loaded with flu-fighting phytonutrients. You can...
Nutrition, Wellness, health, vitamin D, boost immune system, flus, colds, virus, zinc, vitamin C, garlic
Location: Orange County, US
Rupina Meer, Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Health Coaches from Integrative Nutrition’s world-class training program learn from luminaries in the field of health and wellness including Drs....