The fall is a common time to see an increase in colds and flus. It seems as soon as everyone heads indoors for back to school and back to work, this coincides with an increase in the sniffles and body aches.
Common ways to support your immune system through lifestyle include getting a good night’s sleep, eating protein, colourful fruits and veggies, and soups made with bone broth, and taking a good multivitamin and mineral.
In addition to optimizing these lifestyle components, there are three key supplements for cold and flu season to consider adding to your daily routine, which are both economical and readily available everywhere you shop.
There are a few compelling reasons to consider these supplements:
Increased body demands – Your body might need extra support during times where you have increased requirements (such as during stressful life events, a very busy schedule, frequent travelling, and cold and flu season).
Compromised digestive health – Irritable bowel syndrome, conditions like Crohn’s, colitis, or Celiac disease, or a history of gallbladder surgery or other abdominal surgeries can make it difficult if not impossible to fully digest or absorb key nutrients from your diet alone.
Not available in your food supply – There are certain vitamins that you can’t get sufficient amounts of from your food, and your body can’t manufacture them either. In these cases, supplements are key.
So who are these superhero supplements for cold and flu season?
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is only available when the sun shines on our skin. Since it is is needed for everything from immune support to bone health to mental health, not only do we need to supplement Vitamin D, but we need to make sure we are supplementing the CORRECT amount! For some people, the standard recommendation of 1000-3000 IUs a day is enough, for some people it’s too much, but for many people it’s not enough! There is a blood test that can determine if you are taking the right amount, and this can be done at your next appointment or by purchasing a test kit online here.
Vitamin C – Other animals can produce their own Vitamin C, but as humans we rely on dietary sources such as fruits and veggies to provide us with the recommended daily amount needed to prevent diseases like scurvy. Since Vitamin C is needed for everything from bone density to stress and immune response, the daily recommended amount doesn’t scratch the surface when it comes to optimizing levels. One way of knowing if you are taking too much Vitamin C is when you notice loose stools – this is called “bowel tolerance” and can be easily corrected by decreasing your daily dosage slightly. But for those of you who might be a little constipated, this is often a welcome side effect!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – These are called essential fatty acids, because our bodies cannot manufacture them, therefore they need to come from our diets. This is easy to do if you are a regular salmon or tuna eater. However, the reality is that salmon is not really a staple food here on the prairies, and it can be a pretty expensive food to incorporate several times a week. For this reason, many people are deficient in these fatty acids. Again, when I test people’s blood levels, only a handful of people over the years actually have tested in the optimal range until they start supplementing. These fatty acids are needed for your brain, your joints, your hormones, your skin, you name it, it needs Omega-3 oils to work better! Book an appointment with Dr. Fleury, ND to test your levels or purchase a test online here.