Friday, September 24, 2010

Beat Cold and Flu Season the Natural Way

Once again, some nasty bugs are floating around as people all around are sneezing and coughing. Yup, as that chill in the air becomes more pronounced, more and more people are coming down with colds and flus. So what can we do to protect ourselves the natural way, and what can those who are already fighting those bugs do to recover more quickly?

First off, there are a few vitamins you need to be sure you're getting enough of in order to keep your immune system strong. One of those vitamins is B12 - B12 is needed in order to form proteins in the body and make healthy blood cells, among other important functions. Since antibodies and immunoglobulins are made of proteins, having enough B12 in your system is key. You can find B12 in organ meats like liver and also in dairy products and eggs and also fortified foods like breakfast cereals.

Next on the list we have Vitamin C - despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence that 'megadoses' of Vitamin C will help ward off colds and flus, this vitamin is a staple when it comes to staying healthy and has been used for centuries as a cold and flu remedy as vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects our cells from being damaged. Load up on papayas, strawberries, kiwis (one kiwi gives you 100% of the Vitamin C you need in a day), red peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits.

And, not surprisingly, Vitamin D comes into play when talking about colds and flus (What doesn't vitamin D do?). In fact, it is believed that vitamin D can have a profound effect on preventing viruses. You can find vitamin D in organ meats, dairy products, salmon and fortified margarines and other products, but you're unlikely to get up to 1000IU from your diet alone. It's best to take a supplement of 1000IU anyways, just to be sure you're covered.

And finally, be sure to stay well hydrated - warm liquids are great (soups, non-caffeinated teas or plain water!), especially with honey, get plenty of rest and wash your hands frequently! In fact, if you have to wonder if you should wash your hands...you should wash your hands. Stay Healthy!

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