It’s that time of year again…cold and flu season. Here are some ideas from our naturopathic doctors about what you can do to keep your immune system strong and stay healthy!
Eat a Diet Rich in Vitamins, Minerals and Lean Protein
A diet rich in vegetables and lean protein provide your immune system with necessary vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin A, B-vitamins and amino acids. Reducing sugar can also help to decrease your risk of catching an infection, or increase your recovery time if you do get ill. Choosing beverages that help you to stay hydrated and are low in sugar is also important. Water is a better choice than pop, alcohol or juice. Alcohol has been shown to be especially immune-suppressive.
One of the foundations of naturopathy is food is medicine. A healthy diet can build a strong foundation to protect you from unwanted illness.
Naturopathic Herbal Support and Supplements
There are many common herbal medicines that build your immunity and help to both prevent and treat infection such as:
Garlic: garlic is high in natural antimicrobials. Raw garlic is the most potent way of supporting the immune system.
Mushrooms: Medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides. Mushrooms are rich in minerals, B-vitamins, and even provide Vitamin D. Various forms of mushrooms have immune boosting properties including Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps and Chaga.
Echinacea: This native North American herb contains polysaccharides, and flavonoids that stimulate various immune cells. The aerial plants of the herb contain more immune boosting ingredients than the root.
Vitamin D, C, and A: These vitamins are antiviral, and antioxidant. Vitamin D receptors are found on various types of immune cells including B-cells and T-cells. Vitamin A works primarily on T-cell response and Vitamin C is required for many enzymes involved in the immune response.
Exercise can help to fight off infections by increasing circulation of immune cells, raising your body temperature to help fight off bacteria, and helping to manage stress that can weaken your immune system.
IV Myers and Hydrogen Peroxide
Intravenous therapies are a way of administering substances with high absorption for a stronger therapeutic effect. Two intravenous therapies that help with infections and immune support are:
Myers: A mixture of various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such a B vitamins, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Selenium. These IVs provide your body with the ingredients it needs to mount a strong immune response and prevent sickness.
Hydrogen Peroxide: This IV therapy is useful for fighting infections when you are sick. Hydrogen peroxide is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal and can help to reduce symptoms and recover more quickly.
The human immune system is complex, and it is best to discuss what immune support is most appropriate for you with an experienced naturopathic doctor. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more and to help yourself create a healthier life.