It is that season again…time for the infamous man colds to re-emerge. Along with man colds comes other colds, flus, H1N1, norovirus…and the list goes on. While it is inevitable we all will be exposed to different bacteria and viruses, there is hope for prevention! If you are unfortunately hit with any of these, these same tips can help reduce the duration of illness. So outside of reducing stress and increasing sleep, what else can you do? Check out Dr. Hennigar’s 5 Tips for Improving Immune Function 1. Wash your hands
Nothing has more research than the positive outcomes of washing ones hands. Please, just do it. This includes before eating, before and after working out, following any coughs/sneezes/nose blows, and following any possible exposures (i.e. handrails, door knobs etc.).
While getting out the crayons and colouring book may help reduce stress, that’s not what I mean here. What I do mean is increase the colours on your plate. Get as many colourful vegetables and fruits as you can. This ensures adequate vitamins, minerals, and fibre required for your immune system to work properly. Look for orange, yellow, green, and red.
3. Cut the sugar
The consumption of sugar leads to curbing the immune system from its job of warding off bacteria and viruses. This means for up to five hours after sugar consumption, phagocytes, the molecules responsible for consuming the bacteria, are out of commission. One of the easiest places to cut sugar is in what you drink, be sure to avoid soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, and coffee/tea with added sugar.
4. Garlic Soup
There are few herbs as versatile as garlic. Conventional antibiotics only reach bacteria, and many of these illnesses are actually viral in nature. The great thing about garlic is that it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. So no matter the cause of your sickness adding in some garlic soup to the mix is extremely beneficial.
5. See a naturopathic doctor
An ND can provide many different treatments to improve immune function, helping improve prevention and reduce duration of the seasonal colds and flus. These treatments include the following:
Vitamin infusions are the fastest way to get vitamins, minerals, and amino acids into your system. This means the immune system can get to preventing and fighting faster.
Whether it is a daily tea for prevention, a tincture to act as an antimicrobial, or even edible herbs to improve nutrient status, your ND can help.
Research has found that acupuncture stimulates the immune system by stimulating bone marrow to produce more helper T-cells, the cells responsible for activating the cells for killing off invaders.
Your ND can give you further advice on how to incorporate color, immune boosting soups, or many other nutrient rich foods. There are also other supplements containing vitamins and minerals necessary for immune health that can be prescribed by your ND, in a safe yet effective dose.
For more information and to book your immune boosting appointment, feel free to book in with Dr. Hennigar by clicking on Book Now. As always, this post is not designed to diagnose or treat you but instead to give you something to think about. Please book a consult with a doctor prior to changing, starting, or stopping medications or protocols. References Fujiwara,R. et. al. (1990). Effects of Acupuncture on Immune Response, International Journal of Neuroscience, 57 (1):141-150. Gaby, A. (2011). Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing. Concord, N.H. Sanchez et al. (1973). Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis, The American society for Clinical Nutrition, 26 (11):1180-1184. Image courtesy of: Walldesk.com/cough