This cold and flu season may seem even more unpredictable as we enter the fall and winter on the coattails of a global pandemic, thankfully many of the things we are already doing will help to prevent the viruses responsible for the common cold and flu.
I doubt anyone will disagree that fastidious hand washing, social distancing and covering our mouths when we cough has no impact on the transmission of virus particles. So from that standpoint we are on the right track. But, there is much more to consider when thinking ahead to a healthy winter season.
Decrease stress, get outside every day!
Over the past six months, we have been told to stay home. Many of us have really taken this so much to heart that it’s becoming difficult to leave our homes. We are working from home, shopping from home and eating at home, along with many who spend most or all of their days indoors. The concern is that this will worsen as the winter months set in. Therefore, it’s important to schedule outdoor time now, every day, before winter comes.
Spending time outside helps to lower stress and gives us a necessary dose of Vitamin D, both helping to support a healthy immune system
In my practice I recommend at least 15 minutes of time spent outside each day. Going for a walk around the block before and after work, or eating your breakfast outside can be thought of as your new daily commute. The views will be prettier and will help to separate your work from your home life, which will help to reduce stress.
Get inspired, food is medicine!
The end of summer into autumn is a time of garden plenty, many of the veggies nurtured all summer are now ready to eat. Check out a couple of my favorite recipe blogs and cookbooks for inspiration and ideas that utilize a bounty of vegetables to get all your vitamins and minerals. Then set yourself up for success by planning your menu and scheduling a trip to the grocery store each week.
Strive for a whole food based diet at least 70% of the time; sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates can suppress the immune system and will rob our body of the necessary nutrients for cellular function.
Great Recipe Blogs
Supplements for prevention
There are three supplements that I’m sure everyone has heard of over these past few months, and rightfully so. Vitamins D, C and zinc have beneficial effects on the immune system. But there is a fourth supplement that provides incredible immune support and may not be on your radar; mushrooms.
The immune benefits of edible mushrooms have been researched for years, showing promise in the world of cancer and the immune system.
Newer research shows the benefit of edible mushrooms as food for the good bacteria of the digestive system. This helps the immune system further since such a large part of it is produced in the gut. Mushrooms can be added to meals or taken as a supplement to provide daily immune support. This will may offer a wide array of benefits when taken alongside Vitamins D, C and Zinc in the presence of a healthy diet and lifestyle.