Do you dread the cold and flu season? Catching a cold is an inconvenient and uncomfortable experience – one that we’d all rather live without! Thankfully, there is a lot that you can do to help your body’s immune defence work at it’s best, which means you can prevent colds or significantly reduce their severity. This means less snot up your nose and less time off work – a win-win really.
So why do some people catch everything going around while others don’t? It comes down to the function of your immune system – your very own line of defense against cold and flu viruses. If your immune system is working well you won’t catch nearly as many colds and when you do, your body will be all over it – helping you to recover much faster.
Stress, a poor diet and bad sleep all deplete your immune system, as does smoking and alcohol intake. On the other hand, eating a diet rich in nutrients, managing your stress well and getting a great nights sleep can help your immune system to do what it needs to do.
For a healthy immune system, eat:
- A whole food diet based on vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, organic meat, fish, nuts and seeds.
- Fresh fruit and raw vegetables that are high in Vitamin C and bioflavonoids – kiwifruit, berries, citrus in season, pawpaw, pineapple, capsicum, parsley and radishes.
- High zinc foods – oysters, pepitas, sunflower seeds, ginger and organic red meat.
- Immune enhancing and antiviral foods such as garlic, onion and bee pollen (great in smoothies).
There are also many herbal medicines and nutrients that can help to replete your immune system and prevent colds and flus. Studies show that Echinacea root, when taken preventatively can reduce your risk of catching a cold significantly. Beware of over the counter Echinacea products though – they are often made from the cheaper aerial parts of the plant and even those made from the root may not have enough of the active alklyamides to have a beneficial effect.
Seeing a naturopath is the best way to ensure you’re getting good quality products that are going to work how they are meant to. As well as Echinacea our naturopaths commonly prescribe other immune and antiviral herbs along with Vitamin C and bioflavonoid complexes, zinc and other more complex immune enhancing nutrients. Our naturopaths also help to improve both stress and sleep quality, which further enhances your natural immunity (as well as making you feel great!).
Look after your body so it can look after you. Eat well, get some rest and see one of our naturopaths to help you avoid getting sick.
To make an appointment with one of our naturopathic experts, call us on 07 3367 0337 or book online here.