With so much going on this time of year between holidays, kids being out of school, closing out the year, deadlines, etc… We’ve all heard it, and we’ve probably all said it too: “I don’t have time to get sick!”
How are you preparing your body and your immune system to avoid the inevitable ‘cold and flu season’. I’ve put together a few suggestions that may help you stay healthy through the coming months.
- Hydration- We’ve been well conditioned to make sure we drink plenty of water in the summer when it’s hot. However, it is also key to keep your body well hydrated even when it’s cold. Your body begins to shut down if it is dehydrated. The immune system is one of the first things to check out. (as a simple reminder: Coffee does not count as water. Tea does not count as water. Soda does not count as water. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners can dehydrate the body)
- Vitamin D- Also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced naturally by the body when exposed to sunlight. However, during cooler months we typically have fewer hours of sunlight, we don’t spend as much time outside and when we do go outside most of our skin is covered. Vitamin D aids in supporting a normal functioning immune system. A 2010 study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adequate Vit D levels could reduce the risk of developing the flu.
- Multivitamin- I’m always a little surprised how few people I talk to are taking a daily multivitamin. When it comes to multivitamins quality makes a difference. It is key to find a whole food vitamin. Whole food vitamins have better absorption rates which means your body can actually utilize the nutrients. Multivitamins are a great foundation to start offering extra support for your immune system.
- Elderberry Syrup- A great post by NaturallyNicole.com notes that “Elderberries have been proven to both boost the immune system and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms significantly.” She also outlines 3 studies that have been done with elderberries showing their benefits, including their effectiveness against 10 strands of the influenza virus.
- Chiropractic Care- Regular chiropractic care is more than just about pain relief and prevention. By removing subluxations and restoring proper healthy motion to the spinal bones there is less interference placed on the nervous system. That nervous system controls every function of your body, including your immune system. A 1991 study found that an adjustment stimulates a burst of the cells (PMNs and Monocytes) that act like “Pac-Man” eating and destroying bad cells.
So keep up with your regular care for an optimally functioning spine and immune system!
Stay healthy this cold and flu season!
Source: Brennan P, Graham M, Triano J, Hondras M. “Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory bursts induced by spinal manipulation: Potential Role of Substance P.” J Manip Physiolog Ther 1991; (14)7:399-400.