There are more than 200 different viruses known to cause symptoms of the common cold. In North America, there are billions each year, with children averaging 6-8 and adults averaging 2-4 colds yearly. It is said that we lose 45 million sick days and 22 million school days each year due to colds. A cold is usually a viral infection that primarily affects the throat, nose and sinuses. Possible symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, cough, etc.
Factors that impair immunity and increase our risk of catching a cold include stress and insomnia, poor diet (especially high in refined foods/sugar) and nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, poor hygiene, aging, dehydration, among others.
Did You Know? A tickly throat indicates a virus has already been at work for at least a day trying to break down the connective tissue in the throat to get into the bloodstream!
Tips to Support Immune System:
- Rest Up. Get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep per evening.
- Manage Stress. Consider supportive herbs, stress-management techniques and/or acupuncture!
- Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help keep mucous membranes moist, preventing airborne pathogens from colonizing in the nose and throat.
- Get Moving. Aim to do regular, moderate exercise at least 3x/week to promote lymphatic activity.
- Stay Clean. Wash hands frequently with simple soap and hot water.
- Avoid Toxins. Be aware of heavy metals, electromagnetic frequencies and chemicals.
- Optimize Digestion. Chew food well, avoid food sensitivities, consider enzymes.
- Consider Supplements. Below are key ingredients to consider to support immunity and prevent or treat colds.
Prevention Pack ->
- Multivitamin/mineral: Provides the basic nutrition our bodies need to support immune function.
- Vitamin D3: Studies show that those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in the blood are 40% more likely to report colds or flus!
- Fish Oils: Decrease inflammation in the body, enabling the immune system to function more efficiently.
- Probiotics: Several strains of beneficial bacteria have been found to help support immune function. Individuals using probiotics daily suffer fewer colds or flus, or experience shorter and milder illnesses.
- Zinc: Known to support and protect the immune system and help the body fight against diseases. Also helps with tissue formation and supports membranes.
- Vitamin C: A natural virus fighter that enhances the immune system by increasing natural killer cell activity, antibody response, thymus function and supporting collagen synthesis for connective tissue integrity, making it harder for viruses to invade. It is often used to prevent and reduce the length of colds and flus.
- Echinacea: Has immune-strengthening effects and can help stop a cold from developing, ease symptoms, and accelerate healing (reducing the length and severity).
- Elderberry: Packed with antioxidants, strengthens immunity and has anti-viral abilities.
- Goldenseal: An immune-boosting herb with anti-mucous properties. Contains berberine, which is antimicrobial and can soothe throat pain.
- Oregano: A powerful anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial that is high in antioxidants. Often used to help with respiratory and sinus conditions.
- Thyme: Traditionally used to help relieve coughs, sore throats and chest congestion.
- Astragalus: Used to treat viral infections and has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms in treatment of the common cold by stimulating several factors of the immune system.
- Bee Propolis: Has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic activity. Great to use as a preventative and works to protect and boost the immune system.
- Beta Glucans: Sourced from certain forms of yeast and medicinal mushrooms (i.e. Reishi). They enhance the body’s response to infection and activate immune cells without overstimulating the immune system.
- Plant/Phytosterols: Have also been shown to modulate the immune system.
- Antioxidants: Helps prevent oxidative damage to the thymus gland, the major organ of the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Helpful Herbs: Wild cherry bark, mullein & horehound help break up and clear phlegm.
- Essential Oils: Eucalyptus and peppermint help open up sinuses to clear congestion.
- Stay Away. Avoid refined or processed foods, sugars, excess caffeine or alcohol, hydrogenated fats.
- Balance Blood Sugar. Consume adequate fibre & protein with meals. Note that fibre is also necessary to remove toxins from the body and can act as a prebiotic for good bacteria. Protein is especially critical for a strong immune system and chronic infections is a sign of deficiency.
- Eat Well. Consume an alkalizing and anti-inflammatory diet! Great ingredients include leafy greens, berries, garlic, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, lemon, green tea, cacao, sweet potatoes and fermented foods such as kimchi.
- This article is sponsored by Good N Natural in Steinbach -