• Jessica Gradel,DC,MS,L.Ac

Common Sense Tips to Surviving Cold and Flu season.


1. Eat Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins that help you support a healthy immune system. Eating Cruciferous vegetables helps the body boosts specific cell-surface proteins necessary for efficient immune-system function.


2. Vitamin D

Many Americans fall short when it comes to Vitamin D due to increased time indoors. During fall and winter work days may limit the amount of daylight you are exposed to especially if you work 12 hour shifts. Lack of sun exposure can lead to deficiencies in vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, salmon, tuna, mushrooms, liver as well as fortified milks. If you are still falling short on Vitamin D Choose supplements that contain D3 (cholecalciferol), to improve your levels and immune response.


3. Stay Active

Regular exercise routines — that include activities such as walking three times can do more than just help you maintain a healthy weight,regular exercise also:

  • reduces inflammation and chronic disease

  • reduces stress and related hormones such as Cortisol

  • improves immune function.

4. Sleep Well Feel Well

Sleeping 8 hours or more consistently boost the body's releases cytokines during extended periods of sleep. Cytokines are proteins that are used to fight infection by regulating the immune system.


5. Skip the alcohol

Alcohol can damage the body’s dendritic cells, a vital component of the immune system that identify viruses and trigger the T-Cells to fight infections. An increase in alcohol consumption lowers your body's ability to identify and fight infections and may lead to increase occurrence of illness.


6. Reduce Stress

Chronic mental stress and physical illness are related, when we are stressed Cortisol is release which in short burst can reduce inflammation, but if Cortisol levels remain elevated such as in the cases of chronic stress its effectiveness is lost. When cortisol can no longer regulate inflammation chronic diseases are more likely to occur.


7. The Power of Green Tea

Green Tea is beneficial for combating oxidative damage which impacts the function of cells by having one of the highest natural antioxidant concentrations through flavonoids. Less oxidative stress can equate to better overall cellular function and improved immune regulation.


8. Colorful diets

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue , and purple are more than just the colors of the rainbow when we are talking foods, each color represents different antioxidants, mineral contents, and flavonoids that are all essential for proper metabolic function. Vitamin C found in many fruits and vegetables is not produced by our bodies but is essential to have during a bacterial infection. In fact is now being added to the treatment cocktail for sepsis after pilot studies have show its use to increase survival rates significantly.


9. Don't shut yourself away

Some health authorities even consider social isolation a risk factor for chronic diseases.

Social isolation may increase stress and feelings of loneliness, which slows the body’s immune response and ability to heal properly. Socializing reduces these feelings and reduces the stress response as discussed above which is responsible for impaired immune and healing responses.


10. Practice good hygiene

Limiting your exposure to illness by avoiding germs is key to remaining healthy. Here are some other ways to practice good hygiene:

  • Shower daily.

  • Wash your hands before eating or preparing food and using the restroom.

  • Wash your hands before inserting contact lenses or performing any other activity that brings you in contact with the eyes or mouth.

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds and scrub under your fingernails.