Probably by this time of the year, most of us are counting down the days, and wondering when spring might actually relieve us of the winter blues…
Cold and flu season is mostly behind us, but there are a few things we can do to keep ourselves cold/flu free, and also to tame those spring allergies that might be around the corner.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for general immune system support:
- Vitamin D: if you have not been supplementing through the winter, you can still start now. We make vitamin D during the summer, when we are exposed to the sun, but our storage generally does not last for most of us through our long winters. Vitamin D is involved in mood, immune support, nerve health, skin health and clarity of mind. Once our light is back, and we are getting a bit of safe exposure, you can elect to stop your supplement.
- Winter blues can make us crave carbohydrates, sugars and comfort foods. Now is a great time to start incorporating lighter, vegetable based foods back into the diet….a salad per day, with a variety of colour and a protein source can be great, clean burning, energizing fuel.
- Rest is so very important. The body and your immune system needs recharging. Six or seven hours may not be enough for adults, and children should be getting eight to ten hours a night.
- Managing your stress. Stress has a measurable bio-chemical effect on your immune system (and many other systems). When your immune system is in top form, many of these microbes/viruses that we are exposed to routinely can be taken care of even before symptoms are present. If your stress system is healthy, you are also inclined to have less allergies.
- Finding out if you have food sensitivities can be useful, as they can create “busy work” for your immune system. This can leave your immune system fighting with less gusto when it actually needs to spring into action to fight a cold or a flu.
If you know that you have allergies to snow mold, you are probably feeling some of your symptoms already. Ideally if you can get a bit of supplemental support into your body before your season hits, you can minimize your use of over-the-counter anti-histamines, and allergy remedies.
Certain natural ingredients can be used during an allergy attack, or preventatively as well.
These natural ingredients often have no side-effects, are non-addictive and have no “rebound symptoms” once you have discontinued them.
Some of these ingredients are:
- Vitamin C
Doses of these natural ingredients are usually based on age, weight and severity of symptoms.
** Natural medicine has the potential to interact with prescription medications, or to cause harm if used incorrectly. Please contact a licensed Naturopathic doctor to ensure your chosen protocol is serving you.