Flu season is expected to start earlier this year. Did you know, that our diet and lifestyle choices from 3 months prior to winter can affect our chances of getting the flu, and how easily we recover? Time to start preparing today! Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Check your pH: low grade acidosis can negatively impact your immune system₁. Summertime fun of alcohol, late nights, and BBQs can shift us more into an acid state. If your pH is consistently lower than 6.8, time to take some alkaline action! Increase fruits, veggies and plant foods and reduce animal products. Need more? Consider a greens supplement to add to your water and smoothies or make your own green juices like ‘the green goddess’. Shortly after summer comes thanksgiving, Halloween, then Christmas; many excuses for acid producing foods!
- Sleep has a strong regulatory effect on immune function₂. While the adage of going to bed by 10 may not be appealing, the time we sleep before midnight is extremely restorative.
- Stress reduces the effectiveness of your immune system₃. The ability to be content, happy and to be able to go with the flow has been shown to enhance immunity. Regular moderate exercise, meditation, and yoga are effective ways of modifying the stress response, and enhancing mood. Herbal adaptogens are also helpful as they serve as both stress reducers and immune modifiers, like astragalus and codonopsis.
- Deficiencies – people who find they get sick frequently or get the flu yearly may have mineral deficiencies. Minerals are important immune activators₄. Specifically zinc, selenium and copper play an important role in fighting off viral infections like the flu. Other deficiencies often include vitamin D, A, probiotics and essential fatty acids. However they all work together, so someone who is stressed and lacking magnesium for example, could be hindering their immune system too.
- Did you know, if you have a good diet and are still deficient in these important factors, you may have an absorption issue like Intestinal Permeability, candida, parasites, SIBO, or low stomach acid. This is something to address for long-term health, hormone, and immune function.
- Individual Reasons – a unique aspect to consider is your own individual temperament and constitution. Some people naturally have robust immune systems, while others’ have a tendency to deteriorate during stress, poor food choices, or depending on their health history like antibiotic use or other suppressing treatments. If your immune system is an area of concern for you, consider a complete Naturopathic assessment and therapeutic action plan. This is an area I am passionate about, as this aspect of health is what brought me to this field of health care.
We are running our Natural flu shot program again this year! Starting in September, pop into the clinic 1/month to receive your natural immune fortifying combination. Every year people report that they remained free of the cold and flu while others around them unfortunately were affected. Those who did get sick said it was a mild version and were able to recuperate easily. Call us at 289 668 5433 for more details and to get started early!