Cold and flu season is here. Everyone dreads getting a cold but how can it be avoided? Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be avoided, well at least you can at least adjust some of your current lifestyle habits to boost immunity and stay healthy this winter. Here are some easy tips for boosting your immune system all winter long.
How To Stay Healthy During Winter
During the winter months, most areas of the United States and many areas around the world do not get as much light and readily available nutrient-laden fresh vegetables and fruits. For this reason, it is crucial that people take a good, high-quality multi-vitamin every day to provide needed vitamins and minerals to the body.
How do you know if your multi-vitamin is a good one or not? Take this test: drop one vitamin in a small cup of white vinegar. If it dissolves in about 20 minutes, it is a good vitamin but if it dissolves much before or after 20 minutes, it is not.
This is because vinegar mimics the stomach’s acidity and it takes food about 20 minutes to get past the stomach and into the intestine where it will be absorbed into the body, so if the vitamin dissolves too fast or too slow it either is not getting to the intestine or it never breaks down at all.
If you still are not sure about your multi-vitamin, consider asking your chiropractor to recommend the one that he or she takes. Remember that different ages, sexes and conditions may require different nutrients and one must always be certain that any vitamins taken will not interact with any medication.
Multi-Vitamins to Consider
Additional Immune Support
There are three nutrients that can help boost immunity: vitamin C, zinc and echinacea.
Vitamin C is found in orange juice and other foods. It can also be taken in supplement form such as Emergen-C. An additional 500-1000 mg can help to boost the immune system, but be aware that taking more vitamin C than that amount can cause diarrhea.
Zinc has long been known for its throat-soothing properties and now it is often used for its immune-building effect. Zinc can be found in many throat lozenges although it sometimes has a metallic after-taste. Here is one recommended brand: Cold-Eeze.
Echinacea is an herb that can help boost immunity over the cold winter months as well. It is usually taken for a month and then stopped for a month — this cycle is repeated throughout the cold weather months.
How to Reduce a Cold’s Duration
Sometimes no matter what we do, we get sick. For these times, consider the following two products: black elderberry syrup and saline nasal spray.
Black elderberry syrup (e.g. Nature’s Way Sambucol) can help to reduce a cold’s duration and Ocean brand saline spray helps dry, irritated nasal passages become more comfortable and clear.
Mixing a small amount of petroleum jelly and oil of peppermint and rubbing this on the outside of your nostrils before bed can help prevent a stuffy nose from preventing a good night’s sleep.
During the holidays, many of us eat way too much sugar. Studies show that sugar depresses the immune system, so it is no wonder that most of us are sick by the end of the year! Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or other holidays), this time of year is full of sweets for many of us.
Limit sugar consumption during this time of year and it will be easy to notice a positive difference in your health.
Getting at least 8 hours rest each night will stimulate the immune system by allowing the body ample time to recover and re-charge after a long day. A lack of sleep impairs our ability to function and affects our mood — both of which play a role in the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
How do you stay well in the winter?
The easiest way to stay well in the winter is to follow my tips above to reduce the duration of a cold. Ample rest, frequent handwashing, diffusing essential oils and making sure you get enough sleep regularly will all work together to ensure you stay well this winter. Taking a vitamin is also an excellent way to improve your wellness during the winter season. The shorter days of winter tend to make it easier for us to get sick, and that’s why increasing your Vitamin C and Vitamin D during the winter is an excellent option to stay well in the winter.
In summary, taking good care of yourself during the winter months is easy. There are many small steps you can take to reduce the length of your cold or staying cold and flu-free all winter long. Stay healthy by using the tips above for a more enjoyable winter.