Some Key Advice for Boosting Your Immune System over the Holidays
The incidence of colds and flu generally peaks between December and March. Air travel and shopping in the crowds make the holidays an especially vulnerable time. Those with weak immune systems, the very young and the elderly are generally most susceptible. As the excesses and stresses of the holidays get into full swing, it’s a good idea to invest in your immune system and its ability to ward off illness.
Fighting the Cold and Flu Season:
1. Get your annual flu shot. There are two types of flu shots, the most potent being the quadrivalent flu vaccine. It’s designed to protect against four different flu viruses, two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. According to the CDC, all persons aged 6 months and older should get the flu shot, except for those who are too young or those who have severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.1
2. Consume flu-fighting foods. These include:
- Tea. Several studies have found that tea contains substances that help boost the body’s immune system and ward off infections, increase skin cell rejuvenation, and reduce heart attack risk and the risk of developing stomach and other types of cancer.2 Drinking 2 – 4 cups of black or green tea daily has been shown to provide these and other health benefits.
- Garlic. This member of the onion family has been used for thousands of years as a folk remedy for many types of ailments. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin that is known to inhibit viral, bacterial and fungal growth and reduce free radicals in the blood.3 Garlic also serves as a blood thinner and stimulates white blood cells which boost immunity. Research has shown it to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and inhibit fatty deposits on blood vessels. Garlic also helps decrease blood pressure and has a positive effect on lipoprotein levels. Eating raw or lightly cooked garlic provides most of its benefits. The rule is to crush garlic at room temperature and let it sit 15 minutes before using. This allows ample time for the health-boosting enzyme reactions to take place. Never cook it at high temperatures.
- Yogurt. The live active cultures found in yogurt contain the beneficial bacteria needed to keep your gut and intestines protected from disease causing germs.4 Research is now showing specific strains to be more beneficial than others in this regard. Lactobacillus reuteri was used in a Swedish study that showed this particular culture stimulates white blood cells and boosts the immune system. Look for this probiotic on the yogurt label as many brands don’t include it.
These are but a few of the nutritional options to help build your immune system. Many vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds contain valuable vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that support good health. Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, also enhance the immune system. Likewise, certain herbs and immune-supportive roots (e.g. elder, thyme, echinacea and ginger) have shown value in preventing or lessening the effects and duration of flu, viral and bacterial infections.
3. Keep taking your multivitamin. Most of us do not have adequate blood levels of all the nutrients the body needs to ward off viruses, bacteria and germ-caused illnesses. Typical deficiencies include iron, iodine, selenium, magnesium, K2, D3, and B12. While it is true that many people over supplement, adding a high quality, highly absorbable multivitamin to your daily diet will go a long way to helping boost your immune system.
Staying Healthy Year Round
Eating a balanced, nutrient-packed diet, maintaining a regular exercise regimen, getting plenty of sleep, adequate sunlight, and reducing stress are powerful ways to help you stay healthy over the holidays and, for that matter, any other time of the year.
Restoring hormonal balance with proper BHRT is yet another vital element needed to support a strong immune system and good health over time. That’s because hormones are an essential part of the intricate internal chemical interplay that keeps your body on guard against illness and disease.
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Check us out at www.sottopelletherapy.com, and then give us a call at (877) 473-5538 to schedule a consultation. We’d love to help you as we have so many others.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
2 Sabu M Chacko, Priya T Thambi, Ramadasan Kuttan, and Ikuo Nishigaki. Beneficial Effects of Green Tea: A literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855614/
3 Leyla Bayan, Peir Hossain Koulivand, and Ali Gorji. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Jan-Feb; 4(1): 1-14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/
4 Simin Nikbin Meydani and Woel-Kyu Ha. Immunologic effects of yogurt. Am J Clin Nutr. Apr 2000. 71(4): 861-872. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/4/861.full