Prevention is always the first line of defense when it comes to protection. However, if you haven’t planned for prevention as early as the summer, you may be a little behind the Eight Ball in terms of immunity.
Here are Some Keys to Prevention
Make sure you are getting adequate Vitamin D. The summer time is the best time to increase your D levels. Your ideal levels by blood test should be between 40-60.
Stay away from sugar. We are currently in the middle of glutton season that starts with Halloween and continues to Easer, with an ever-present array of candy, cookies and treats. Sugar has the potential for compromising your immune systems ability to engulf viruses, bacteria and parasites. Source
Don’t pick your nose! No joke, pathways for the cold and flu are through mucous membranes such as nose and mouth.
Get adequate rest. You need about 8 hours of sleep on average. Deprivation of sleep can make you more at risk for acquiring an infection and take longer to recover from it.
What Can I Do if I Am Sick?
Get in bed and rest! This allows your body the time it needs to overcome a cold or flu.
Drink homemade chicken soup. Your grandmother knew best! Chicken soup contains drug like agents that are similar to modern day cold medicines and it is an anti-inflammatory. So crawl into bed with a steaming hot mug of chicken broth.
Drink water! Admissions to the emergency room from complication of the flu are generally because of dehydration. Frequent sips of a room temperature beverage is far more effective than downing 8 ounces of water in five minutes.
Can I Take Anything?
Avoid the prescription antivirals such as Tamiflu. Research has shown that they reduce the duration of the flu by ONE hour only. Plus you have to get out of bed, drive to the doctors (more exposure), drive to the pharmacy (even more exposure), then you finally land in bed more exhausted and unrested to consume Tamiflu to save you one hour!
Take some Oscillococcinum. At the first sign of the flu have someone go to a big box drug store and get you Oscillococcinum by Boiron. It is a homeopathic remedy to fight the flu. The first dose must be taken immediately, with the second dose within 6 hours. The beauty of homeopathy is if it works it WORKS. If it is the wrong remedy there is absolutely NO harm done. It is best to keep this product on hand starting in the fall.
Take some Elderberry. Start consuming Elderberry by Sambucol immediately (even if you are already taking Oscillococcinum, they can be taken together) or you can make it yourself. Here is the recipe.
The Best Cold Fighting Products (check out this link for a power point that reviews many of these products)
Garlic. The University of Western Australia we find a study that gave 146 people either a garlic supplement – standardized to 180 milligrams of allicin – or a placebo for 12 weeks. The research found that the placebo group in total had 65 common cold occurrences while the garlic group only had 24 occurrences. This is less than half the number of colds. Another study, from the University of Florida, tested 120 people by giving half 2.5 grams per day of an aged garlic extract supplement and the other half a placebo. Over a six-month period, the garlic group had 61 percent fewer number of days of colds, and 58 percent had few incidences of colds, along with 21 percent fewer cold symptoms when they did catch a cold. Beware, not all garlic supplements are the same. If your garlic has had the smell removed then it is lacking the important active ingredient of allicin. Unfortunately you may stink, but you wont be sick!
Vitamin C. It will reduce the severity of a cold if you start immediately. Make sure that your vitamin C contains some mixed bio flavonoids such as acerola cherry, rose hips, rutin, hesperidin, or quercetin, as well as Ascorbic Acid.
Chelated Zinc. A Cochrane database review performed last year analyzed 16 therapeutic studies that included 1,387 people, plus two prevention trials. The research found that zinc taken within 24 hours of the appearance of cold symptoms significantly reduced the duration of a cold. There was a 55 percent reduction in the number of people symptomatic of a cold after seven days compared to those not taking zinc. And the incidence of colds among those taking zinc regularly was 36 percent less than those who were not.
I pray that this information gets to you in time so you can both prevent colds and flu and recover quickly if you happen to succumb!