How’s your immune system holding up this year? Is the stuffy head cold you got last month STILL hanging on even though you’ve drunk your weight in cold medicine and taken a couple rounds of antibiotics? What are you doing wrong? First of all, food (real food), really is the best medicine – eating natural whole foods provides the raw materials for every cell in your body to function properly. If you’re eating processed foods throughout the day, you should expect your immune system to struggle with the added burden of killing a virus or taming bacteria! If the damage is already done and sickness has set in, here are five guaranteed tips for getting you back to healthy.
- Eat from an elimination diet food list. You can’t expect your body to fight off colds and viruses if your immune system is overburdened. Try to avoid foods that are more likely to illicit an immune response- mainly gluten, dairy, peanuts, corn and soy.
- Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary for a bacterial infection. Antibiotics can actually hinder the immune system’s ability to fight by creating dysbiosis in the gut – not to mention the fact that they do no good if your sickness is viral (which is often the case).
- Take extra vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for your immune system to function in tip top shape. Taking 10-25,000 iu’s for a few days followed by a 5000iu maintenance dose can really give your immune system the boost it needs. Take into consideration the amount of vitamin D you’re getting in other supplements and make sure you have your blood lipid levels monitored by your doctor.
- Eat chicken soup – it really is good medicine! The amino acids in chicken help to improve your antioxidant levels and liver function – onions and garlic are natural antimicrobials which can help kill bacteria and viruses – carrots and celery provide nutrients like vit C and beta carotene which support healthy immune function. Eat 1 cup several times throughout the day.
- Try taking elderberry, “Sambucol” in particular. Elderberry has antiviral properties that can really help aid your immune system in fighting those little viral invaders. Use 30ml/day for children and 60ml/day for adults or as directed on the package.
Your sickness is a war and these strategies will help you win quick, so use them today and start feeling better tomorrow!
Have a happy and HEALTHY holiday!
– Ashley Howell, CHC