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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Penna

Winter colds, flu and infections

Updated: May 31, 2022

Colds, flu and upper respiratory tract infections are usually most prevalent from late autumn to early spring when winter immunity is low.

So now is the time to start your prevention plan to reduce your risk this flu season.

I have put together a few tips that everyone can use that will boost the immune system and help keep the bugs at bay during the cold snap.

The Power of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known as a potent antioxidant, but also has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral and antihistamine properties that can help prevent viral disease and increase the rate of recovery from acute infections by enhancing the function of the immune system.

The problem with most people is that they don't dose high enough.

Vitamin C needs to be taken till you reach bowel tolerance (in other words, till your bowels become a bit loose) and then you know you have hit your sweet spot on dosing. The form of vitamin C is also important.

There are a lot of brands on the market these days and I suggest clients avoid purchasing cheap forms of powders or tablets that can irritate the gut and are not highly effective. 

Advanced formulations of vitamin C are now using unique liposomal delivery systems that have been shown to be highly effective at boosting the immune system.  Dose every 2-3 hours at the first signs of an early viral infection. 

Zinc - Healthy Immune System

Zinc is required for a healthy immune system, but it’s common for many people to be deficient in this essential mineral. Adequate levels of zinc intake have been associated with the significant reduction in the severity and duration of symptoms of the common cold and decreasing incidences of respiratory tract infections.

Zinc can be found in seafood – with oysters being the highest food source and smaller amounts in lean red meat, chicken, wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils. Again dose is important and for colds I usually use 70 mg a day in divided doses for a few days of a cold.

The Power of Herbal Medicine

The power of herbal medicine should not be over looked as an essential part of building resilience and immune support.

My favourite blend usually has a mix of Echinacea, Elderberry, Elderflower and Olive leaf that traditionally have been used to enhance the immune system and shown to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, colds and influenza.

We use only practitioner-quality herbs, so you know you’re getting superior products and therapeutic doses. 

Current research has also shown that Medicinal Mushroom such as shiitake as well as a specific form of Beta glucans, vitamin D3, vitamin A and good gut diversity are essential in fighting viral infections and boosting immunity.

Stress and Sleep

An over stressed nervous system is usually one of the driving factors that lowers the immune system.

Adequate rest and quality sleep help with immune balance and overall health so ensure you are getting at least 8 hours per night and more if possible during the winter period.

Even partial sleep deprivation can negatively impact your immune system, so getting enough sleep every night is one of the best things you can do as a preventative to getting sick.

Garlic - Nature’s Antibiotic

Garlic is often referred to as nature’s antibiotic due to its wide range of antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties, making it an excellent ally to boost your immunity this winter.

While you can add garlic into your everyday diet to enjoy its benefits, we have a few traditional recipes that can be used if you feel a cold coming on.

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