The weather has cooled down and the risks have increased for getting a cold or more seriously the flu. This not only makes us feel terrible, but can have serious health outcomes especially in the very young and the old. In these circumstances the old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very accurate.
There are lots of proactive steps we can take to avoid getting sick and to strengthen our immune system so that if we are exposed to an infection we can mount a more effective response and help reduce its severity.
Take a Daily Dose of Vitamin C
An adult dose is 500 to 1,000 mg daily. It is best to be taking Vitamin C before you are exposed to cold or flu - your body has a better chance of fighting it off when already taking Vitamin C.
Get a Regular Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is actually a hormone and is crucial to our immune system functioning efficiently. Don’t underestimate the power of getting outside daily in the fresh air and being exposed to short periods of sunlight. 10 minutes a day exposing lower arms and legs can produce up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D and this short time period restricts exposure to harmful UV rays. If you are Vitamin D deficient, or don't get the chance to spend time in the sun, supplements are available.
Improve Your Gut Microbiome
Medical research now understands how crucial our gut microbiome is to assisting the function of our immune system and good quality probiotics and strong digestion helps keep the lymphatic immune system in the intestine balanced. An efficient way to achieve both of these is with the use of fermented papaya products containing both digestive enzymes and probiotics and has also been shown to improve the functioning of the immune system itself.
Regularly Wash Hands
Regularly washing your hands, especially if you are in contact with people, will help limit your exposure to germs. Also try and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as these are entry points for viral infections.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Our food is our main source of vitamins and minerals and make all the difference to our immune system. Ensure your diet is a nutritious one with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Stay at Home
If you do come down with a cold or flu, stay home if possible. This will help aide your recovery, but also limit your exposure to others and passing on your illness.