Eeny meeny miny moe, choose healthy habits to halt a cold
Congested sinuses, headaches, coughing, and a sore throat; symptoms of the common cold, also known as a virus. Colds can be caused by many different viruses – hundreds to be sure. And that is why we may never be free of them. The immune system has to first recognize the virus and then neutralize it. If that not enough of a challenge, viruses can change their molecular appearance, disguising themselves – so even if you have had a particular cold/virus in the past, the immune system may not recognize it.
The good news is that the strength of the immune system mechanisms plays a factor as to whether we get ill or how sick we get upon exposure to a virus. As we move deeper into the months of respiratory woes, Michele Sevier, DNM, DAc, B.Ed., M.Ed., and Director of Education at nutrition house explains how developing good habits help your body defend itself from those nasty bugs and prevent respiratory infections. For beginners, she recommends starting with the basics:
Hand washing and proper hygiene is an important first line defence. Wash hands often. Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Drink plenty of water (or herbal teas) to help clear congestion and keep nasal secretions moist.
Eat healthy to allow the immune system to work at its peak
Reach for daily probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that illicit a number of positive health effects. Research shows that probiotics may be useful for preventing respiratory infections in adults and children.
Take a multivitamin. Look for a multi with vitamin C and vitamin D. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of colds for individuals during times of extreme physical stress Vitamin D can be used for the prevention of common respiratory infections including cold and flu. 1000IU of vitamin D is important, especially in the winter months.
Science-backed immune-boosting ingredients you may want to add to your natural health lifestyle include:
Elderberry is a traditional herbal medicine used to treat fever, colds and flu. Black elderberry is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that appear to have an antiviral effect and support the body’s immune system.
Olive leaf extract derived from the olive tree is a natural remedy for respiratory infections. Olive leaf extract contains a number of phytochemicals that exhibit antibacterial and antiviral properties to help fight colds, flu and other infections
Echinacea is traditionally used in to help fight off infections, especially of the upper respiratory tract, while relieving the associated symptoms and shorten the duration of illness.
Michele Sevier, DNM, DAc, B.Ed., M.Ed., is nutrition house’s resident Director of Education. Michele is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, holds a Doctorate of Acupuncture, and has a certificate utilizing Auriculotherapy and its applications in health and healing, including techniques to deal with addictive behaviours. A Consulting Nutritional Analyst, Michele holds certificates in Clinical Microscopy/Blood Analysis and Urinalysis in Biological Medicine. Michele is responsible for training and coaching nutrition house’s Natural Health Product Advisors. Visit www.nutritionhouse.com to find your nearest retailer.