It seems like cold and flu season is already among us and I’ve seen reports of a respiratory virus spreading quickly among children in the U.S. There are many things we can do to help keep the immune system strong during a time when so many get sick.
Here are the top 5 things our family does to stay as healthy as possible during cold and flu season:
- Drink Bone Broth (aka chicken stock) – Homemade chicken stock contains a wealth of nutrients, helps strengthen the immune system and is also known for its antiviral properties. We drink a cup or two each day along with some Celtic sea salt (the unrefined salt contains extra minerals). If you prefer not to drink it from a cup, make a big pot of soup and serve some alongside meals or send some to school with the kids in an insulated thermos.
- Reduce Sugar Intake – Sugar can cause inflammation and also weaken the immune system. Keep the desserts at a minimum. Choose whole fruits over sugar-laden sweets.
- Eat Probiotics at Every Meal – Over 85% of the immune system is in the gut, so it’s important to keep the gut healthy. One way to do this is by consuming probiotic-rich foods. These foods include: traditionally-prepared sauerkraut, cultured yogurt, kombucha, and fermented vegetables. You can also purchase probiotics to take with a good diet. My favorites are BioKult and GutPro.
- Eat Healthy Saturated Fats – Unprocessed, saturated fats are essential for energy, hormone production, a healthy immune system, and many other important functions. These fats include: organic butter (butter can help strengthen the immune system, suppresses inflammation, and is a great source of iodine), coconut oil (contains antiviral and antimicrobial properties which are great for keeping the immune system strong), ghee, grass-fed lard or tallow, palm oil (I purchase from companies that buy from sustainable farms), and duck fat.
- Drink filtered water – Remember! The center of the immune system lies in the gut, so you need to keep it as healthy as possible to keep your immune system strong. Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills bacteria and is added to most drinking water. It can damage the good bacteria in your gut, making you more susceptible to inflammation, allergies, autoimmune disease, etc. There are several different options for at-home filtration including: a reverse-osmosis system, countertop purifier, or a whole house water filtration system.
If you’re interested in a longer and more comprehensive list on this topic, I’d like to send you my “Top 15 Tips to Reduce Inflammation” to your inbox. It’s a pdf that’s full of links, and other helpful sources. Just click on this link, fill out the short form and I’ll send the pdf over to you. I think it will be a valuable resource you can reference often!
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Disclaimer: This content is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.