Are you someone that dreads this time of year – not only because the weather is less than ideal but also because you know it’s the time for head colds, sinus infections, coughing, sneezing, wheezing…the list goes on. Fortunately every fall and winter doesn’t have to be that way. We may not be able to gain control of the weather but we can certainly gain control of our immune health and stop those nasty colds and flus from creeping up so often! Here are my favourite tips for boosting your immune health this season.
Bone broth soups
I’m a huge fan of bone broth soups. They’re packed with important nutrients that are needed to help support your immune system and decrease inflammation. Making your own bone broth soup is incredibly easy or there are even pre-made options available from a few local butchers in the city. Simply heat up a cup of bone broth and have with your breakfast for that added immune-boosting kick before work. Not only is the broth nourishing but it’s also absolutely delicious and incredibly comforting to warm up to on a cold day.
Whether you’re getting healthy probiotics from fermented foods or a supplement, probiotics are a vital addition to anyone’s diet and especially when it comes to immune boosting. A large portion of your immune cells reside in the gut and supporting optimal gut flora not only helps with a number of digestive concerns but can also help with cold and flu prevention. Certain probiotic strains have even been shown to be beneficial for immune health and can provide that extra barrier of protection from any offending viruses or bacteria. My favourite way to get probiotics in during the day is through fermented food sources like sauerkraut, miso and unsweetened kefir. If you’re a person who is particularly susceptible to colds and flus, adding a probiotic supplement to your daily routine can do wonders for your immune system.
Get a good night’s sleep
Did you know that not getting enough sleep could mess around with your hormones, increase inflammation and lower your immunity? All the more reason why a good night’s sleep should be a top priority. A lack of sleep can impair our body’s natural immune responses that are required when we are attacked with an infection. Our bodies have an innate ability to heal itself and ensuring that we are getting a restful night’s slumber is a perfect way to help out this innate ability.
Try an immune boosting infusion
Intravenous nutrient therapy is an excellent way to get 100% absorption of nutrients at therapeutic levels that aren’t always attainable by oral supplementation or through diet. A perfect example is vitamin C, where the doses that are used to help support immune health are not always realistic to take orally. Other important immune-boosting nutrients, such as zinc, selenium and a few key amino acids can easily be added to a nutrient infusion and does wonders for those who are more susceptible to infections or are around germs often (I’m talking to you, teachers and health care workers!). Infusions are amazing at stopping acute infections in their tracks or work nicely as a preventative measure as well. I usually recommend a series of 4-6 nutrient infusions in the beginning for prevention with monthly maintenance dosing if necessary.
Make some cold-fighting cough syrup
Onions and garlic are chock full of ingredients, like allicin, to boost your immune system and help fight off any active cold. Adding in local honey can be an added bonus! If you have a sore throat or feel something coming on, making a honey, onion, garlic syrup is pretty easy to do. You can find my recipe HERE.
We could all use a little added immune support this time of year! If you want to read more about simple tips to boost your immune system, check out my latest published article: Guard yourself against flu season.
Immune health doesn’t have to be complex. Making simple dietary and lifestyle changes can make a big difference.