Your health: Keep cold and flu bugs at bay, the natural way

  • Dec. 16, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Erika Kneeland

Special to The Record

The cold, wet weather is a sure sign cold and flu season is upon us.

Time to get your immune system primed! Here are some easy, natural approaches to ensure you and your family stay happy and healthy:

Eat lots and eat well. Your immune system can’t protect you on an empty stomach. Eating junk food contributes to unhealthy white blood cells, while fruit-, veggie- and protein-packed meals encourage growth of strong cells that are ready to conquer infections.

Make time and space for sleep. Sleep time is healing time. Reparative hormones work double time while you’re resting to hunt down any viruses lurking in your system. Make good use of longer autumn nights — turn off the TV, cellphone and computers and enjoy a dark, serene space to promote good sleep.

Leave stress behind. Stress takes a toll on the immune system. Pumping out adrenaline and cortisol every time you get worked up exhausts your body and mind, leaving little energy for fighting infection. Do what you can to eliminate the stresses of life — let go of things you can’t control, have a bath, get a massage and take time to do things you love.

Get moving. Exercise helps rid tension and stress and enhances immune function. Whether it be hiking, dancing or yoga, find some movement you love.

Hang with friends. People who socialize regularly have better health than those who don’t. Spending time with loved ones lowers stress levels and makes you happier, which in turn makes you healthier.

Immunize naturally. Naturopathic shots and IVs for immune boosting can give your body the extra helping hand it needs this flu season.

Soak up sunshine! Vitamin D deficiency is common through the winter months. When the skies are grey, add a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine. And when the sun shines, get out and play!

 

 

Dr. Erika Kneeland is a Naturopathic physician and owner of Braidwood Naturopathic Clinic in Courtenay. For appointments, call 250-334-0655 or visit www.braidwoodnaturopathic.com.