I used to think it was just a matter of chance whether you could stay healthy for the holidays. After all, it’s just another day of the year.
But as a Family Practice physician, I have learned a lot about the immune system in the past couple of years. There are several things that can help you stay healthy or recover more quickly. There are many recommendations, but here are a few I’ve found.
1) Irrigation: Viruses enter our bodies through the nose and mouth. So flushing these areas (gargling, nasal irrigation) can help decrease the amount of virus in the areas. This can be used for prevention, especially after exposure to illness. And it can help early in an illness.
2) Zinc: Viruses get into cells, reproduce, and leave those cells to infect others. Zinc helps decrease virus reproduction. Many of us are zinc deficient, so taking 50 mg daily with food (or it can bother the stomach) can help with immunity.
3) Quercetin, a plant flavonoid found in many foods, can markedly decrease viruses being able to enter cells. Recommended dose is 500 mg daily.
4) Vitamin D is important for immunity. Most people could use 5000 iu vitamin D3 or more daily, especially when ill. Your doctor may have measured your Vitamin D level. It’s been shown that levels above 50 ng/ml help with immunity.
5) Vitamin C 1000 mg daily, or more, can help with immunity.
6) Elderberry binds viruses, helping decrease the viral load. People with autoimmune diseases should limit themselves to about 2 weeks, keeping in touch with their doctor.
7) Decrease sugars and processed carbohydrates in the diet – these can be inflammatory and decrease immunity.
Get plenty of sleep, exercise, socialize, and reduce stress as possible.
**These recommendations are general information — please check with your own health care provider for their recommendations for you.