With one of the worst flu seasons in decades in full swing, this is the best time to make sure you have the necessary tools to bounce back in case you or your loved ones are affected.
So what are the best ways to give your immune system a much-needed boost? Here are eight tips for dealing with the flu without resorting to unnecessary antibiotics or gut-killing pain relievers like Ibuprofen.
At the first sign of coming down with something, put yourself to bed and rest. While your natural instinct may be to push through, letting your body rest and recharge is one of the fastest ways to get you back to feeling well.
As we sleep , our bodies relax, repair, and regenerate, and evidence shows that a good night’s sleep boosts immune function and helps filter T-cells into our lymph nodes. Our lymphatic system is essential for defending our bodies from external invaders, so sleeping well can help you fight that cold fast.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out our top tips to help you get a deeper sleep.
Hydration is key as it can help clear toxins from the system and will replenish fluids lost from sweat, urine, and decreased food intake. Drink plenty of filtered water, bone broth and herbal teas to help you rehydrate.
Adequate amounts of vitamin D are essential for your immune system to function optimally. However, The majority of the US population is suffering from chronic, low levels of Vitamin D because we don’t get enough exposure to the sun.
One of the best things you can do to strengthen your immune system is to regularly supplement with vitamin D and you can check with your doctor what dosage is right for you. If you’re already not feeling well, I recommend 20,000 units the first day you are sick and 10,000 the next three days. Slowly scale back to your maintenance dose.
Considering that your gut is the largest part of your immune system, you want to support it to stop this cold in its tracks. I recommend doubling up your usual dosage of your probiotic and loading up on gut-friendly fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
A good dose of B vitamins will support your adrenals and your body’s natural detoxification processes. When you are sick and your immune system is active, your body is trying to get back to balance, or homeostasis. B-vitamins support this energetic and metabolic process and will speed up your recovery.
Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which is antiviral. Remember everyone, the flu is not caused by bacteria, so immediately taking antibiotics is not only bad because it causes resistance and kills off good gut bacteria, it’s also not helpful.
Have a sore throat or a persistent cough? Try adding some coconut oil to your tea or take a teaspoon on its own to help soothe and lubricate your throat.
Stress is inflammatory. And we know that deep breathing practices and meditation can have profound effects on the body, from lowering blood pressure, to lowering inflammation and improving immune function. Even a 10 minute guided meditation can have profound effects.
Sugar is the devil as far as getting sick is concerned. Besides messing with our blood sugar, and feeding the bad bugs in our gut, sugar suppresses our immune system and leaves us more susceptible to infections like colds and flu. For help on cutting back, check out our 5 Tips to Break Your Sugar Addiction .
Check out the video below where Dr. Tiffany Lester shares even more tips to stay healthy during this cold and flu season.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health, America's leading holistic medical practice designed to help women overcome chronic conditions. She founded Parsley to address the rising tide of chronic disease in America through personalized holistic medicine that puts food, lifestyle, and proactive diagnostic testing on the prescription pad next to medications. Since founding Parsley in 2016, Dr. Berzin has seen 80% of patients improve or resolve their chronic conditions within their first year of care, demonstrating the life-changing value of making modern holistic medicine accessible to everyone, anywhere. Parsley is available online nationwide.
Dr. Berzin attended medical school at Columbia University and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Her book, Prescription for Happiness: How to Eat, Move, and Supplement for Peak Mental Health, was published by Simon Element in January 2022.