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How to Prevent Getting a Cold

cold-preventionIt’s that time of year again…the dreaded cold and flu season. For some people, getting a cold or the flu is expected every year, but it surely doesn’t have to be. I could write a whole newsletter on the flu shot, but I’d prefer to focus on proactive nutrition and lifestyle habits that are way more effective. To keep it simple, I will share with you my favorite 3 immune boosting supplements, top 3 prevention tips, and top 3 immune enhancing foods.

TOP 3 IMMUNE BOOSTING SUPPLEMENTS:
1. Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol): In the large study evaluating the association between vitamin D and respiratory infections, people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more colds or cases of the flu. Vitamin D data states that at least 85% of Americans are deficient, so this is an essential immune boosting vitamin.
2. Oxi-Plus Antioxidants: A lot of people take Vitamin C during cold season, but they miss out on the many other powerful antioxidants. Might as well switch to a broad spectrum of antioxidants that works more effectively than vitamins taken alone.
3. Proflora Probiotic: This powerful probiotic supplement promotes the overall health of the immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and prevent the growth of foreign bacteria, fungus, and parasites. Not only will it improve immune function, but it will also promote healthy bowels.

Note: These immune boosting supplements do not take the place of everyone’s essential daily regimen (Ortho Multi-vitamin/mineral and Ultra Omega-3 fish oil). For the cold season, I have designed a special discounted supplement package to include my powerful multi, potent and pure omega-3’s, and my top 3 immune boosters.

TOP 3 COLD AND FLU PREVENTION TIPS:
1.   Eat colorful foods. Stay away from processed foods and incorporate tons of organic fruits and vegetables in your daily routine. These foods contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that help protect our cells from foreign invaders. Fresh fruits and vegetables also boost your body pH for further immune protection. See my favorite immune boosting foods below.
2.   Shrug off stress. In order to boost your immune system, it is essential to minimize stress in your life or at least manage it. If you pay close attention, most people get sick when they are under a large amount of stress and/or sleep deprived. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. And make sure there are times in your daily routine when you avoid your email and phone and enjoy the time by yourself or with friends or family.
3.   Try to exercise daily. Exercise is a great way to boost your immune function, decrease stress, gain energy, and sleep better at night. Aim to incorporate a variety of exercises, including cardiovascular activities, resistance training (weight lifting, pilates) and calming activities (yoga, light walking, meditation). One of my favorite immune enhancing activities is yoga because it brings awareness to your breath and mind which have a huge effect on your immune function.

TOP 3 IMMUNE ENHANCING FOODS:
1.   Fresh Vegetable Juice. Hands down, fresh vegetable juice is the most powerful immune boosting food. I know that juicing veggies is a time consuming process but if you are up for the challenge, your immune system will thank you. Here are some vegetable juicing tips and recipes. Many local health food stores also make fresh vegetable juice. I usually stay away from store bought brands because of their high sugar content and their antioxidant properties are minimized due to their long shelf life. Tip: If you enjoy smoothies, try adding a handful of kale or dark greens to the blender. As long as your blender has enough power, it will blend in smoothly with minimal veggie taste.
2.   Sweet Potatoes. Many people are weary of carbohydrates, but there is no reason to fear sweet potatoes. These wonderful vegetables are loaded with nutrients, including vitamin A and beta-carotene. These antioxidants increase the number of T-cells, which are known as “helper cells” and play a role in fighting infection and preventing cancer.
3.   Yogurt. The beneficial bacteria naturally found in yogurt, called probiotics, helps fight infection and protect our digestive systems. Since sugar will counteract these benefits, it’s important to eat plain yogurt! Another tip is to try Greek or Mediterranean yogurt because it is lower in sugar and higher in protein. For anyone who is intolerant to cow dairy (casein or lactose), your body will probably handle plain sheep, goat, or buffalo yogurt.

This recipe is filled with antioxidants:   Spiced Carrot Peanut Butter Soup

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