Just a few small tweaks to your daily habits can make a big difference in your immunity! Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep feeling fantastic throughout the cold season.
This herb helps stimulate the immune system, and it’s my favorite herbal remedy for colds. If you know you’re prone to getting colds, it also works for prevention. It stimulates the immune system and it’s my preferred herb for colds. To prevent a cold, take two to three grams per day, and for treatment of a cold take up to six to nine grams per day. You can find it at most health food stores.
Not only are taking probiotics great for digestive health, they are extremely important for the immune system! A dysbiosis in the gut, which probiotics can help regulate, is often a major cause of immune suppression. Probiotics will add beneficial bacteria to your gut, warding off sickness – after all, 70% of your immune system is in your gut! Take a probiotic with at least 20 billion live organisms.
Getting your D becomes even more important as you start spending less time in the natural sunshine. Vitamin D is essential for proper immune system function, so don’t skimp on it! Get your D level checked. If it’s under 30 ng/ml, I recommend you take 10,000 IU of D3 per day under a doctor’s supervision (get your blood checked again after 3 months). If your level is 30-45 ng/ml, take 5,000 IU of D3, and if it’s above 45 ng/ml, take 2,000-4000 IU for maintenance (the less sun you’re getting, the higher your maintenance dose).
Most of us underestimate the importance of sleep when it comes to our immune systems. Have you ever felt a cold coming on after a few days out of your normal sleep pattern? That’s because getting seven to eight hours of sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health. Your body needs sleep to heal and repair every cell of your body. Optimize your sleep by sleeping in a cool, dark room and turning off all electronics. If you only choose one thing from this list to do, make sure you’re getting adequate rest!
Vitamin C is a classic immunity booster that can often help to fend off more serious infections. But you need high doses. So if you are willing, take at least two grams three to four times a day. People often ask if I recommend Emergen-C packets and Airborne, which both provide high doses of Vitamin C. I’m not crazy about the added ingredients in some of those formulas – I’d prefer if you could get your hands on a Vitamin C supplement.
We all know it’s important to hydrate when the weather is hot, but as things cool down you may find yourself forgetting to grab your water bottle. Hydration is just as important in the fall, especially when it comes to preventing colds! Water helps all of your body's systems function at an optimum level. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body and ensures that your cells get the oxygen they need.
Reduce foods that lower your immune system
Sugar, processed foods, gluten, and alcohol can all have a negative effect on your body’s ability to fight colds. Instead, eat lots of leafy green vegetables, plenty of garlic (a natural antibiotic), and nutrient-dense soups. Shopping at your local farmer’s market for seasonal foods will ensure you’re getting what your body is naturally craving for optimal health. If you nourish yourself properly, you won’t find yourself complaining about a cold this fall!