It’s that time of year again… cold and flu season.
What we eat, drink and think has a dramatic effect on our immune system and general health and wellbeing.
Here are my top tips for preventing colds and flus:
- Ensure you are hydrated – drink 2-3L of warm water spread across the day
- Enjoy Vitamin C rich foods – kiwi fruit, citrus fruit, peppers, berries, tomatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so enjoy some of these raw.
- Vitamin E rich foods – such as sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts
- Zinc rich foods – oysters, shellfish, cashews, pumpkin seeds, organic lean red meats
- Good quality protein – fish, poultry, lean meats, organic tofu/tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds, chicken soup! Our immune systems are made of protein, and most people are not eating anywhere near enough.
- Essential fatty acids – oily fish (wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines), walnuts, flax, chia, hemp and pumpkin seeds are all great sources
- Probiotic foods – kimchi, sauerkraut, organic miso, kombucha, kefir, tempeh. These support our gut bacteria, which control our immune systems. 80% of our immune system resides in the gut, so looking after digestive health is imperative.
- Potent anti-virals/immune stimulants – garlic, onion, mushrooms – especially reishi and shiitake
- Foods to avoid include alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods and chemicals/additives/preservatives as these deplete the immune system. Cow’s dairy is mucous forming so should be avoided in any cases of phlegm/runny noses etc.
Don’t forget we also have acute 15 minute consults for colds and flus, where we can prescribe practitioner grade, therapeutic strength natural medicines to help fight off infection.