It’s flu season which means that people are rushing to get a flu shot to ward off viruses and bugs. But what to do when you still get sick with the flu? Here are some natural ways to help boost your immune health and keep you strong through the winter season ahead.

immune health

Story by Dr. Roop Dhesi, DC

 

Healthy Strategies/Tips to Boost your Immune Function

1. Eat well

This may seem obvious, but how many times have you missed meals, eaten a bag of chips and then consumed half a bottle of wine and some cheese for dinner? Eating well is important to helping your immune system.

ginger cardamom

Try:

  • Wholesome foods and immune boosting foods like pure cocoa and vegetables
  • Slightly cooked or sauteed green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens (spinach); asparagus; and other vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
  • Cardamom (antioxidant), Cinnamon (balances sugar, improves digestive), Ginger Root (reduces inflammation, GI purifies, Immune booster)
  • Jugni Style Tip: Add some extra cardamom (crushed or fine powder is fine) to a cold or hot beverage, mixed into a smoothie or added to your favourite fruit crumble.
  • Jugni Style Tip: Fresh ginger is best. Try adding some fresh ginger slices and lemon to hot water to a refreshing, slightly spicy tea, or add try a cool pineapple ginger smoothie. If you don’t like the flavour, you can also find ground ginger root in capsule form.

 

2. Supplements

Don’t go overboard and take too many vitamins and minerals. Many of us are taking too many vitamins and supplements in hopes that something or everything will help, when it can sometimes do more harm than good. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about the right dose for you.

Be critical of supplements that claim that they will “boost” your immune system because researchers know little about what the true immune cell balance is.

Try:

  • Vitamins: A, C, E, B6, B12 (I prefer shots. See your traditional Chinese medical practitioner or a Naturopath Doctor)
  • Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Folic acid
  • Fish Oils

 

3. Lifestyle

It’s about nurturing the mind, body and soul.

Try:

  • Restorative Sleep: 30 min Nidra Yoga restores 3 hours of sleep!
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Purified water
  • Laughing and love
  • Positive thinking
  • Stress management

 

4. What to Avoid:

  • Processed foods, low sugars diet, caffeine, alcohol, sugars, overeating, eating two hours before bed, and commercial meats
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Sugars like artificial sugars, corn syrup (HFCS) and candy

 

Roop Dhesi is Doctor of Chiropractic based in Metro Vancouver who brings a multi-disciplinary healthcare approach to her practice. Visit Dr. Dhesi on Facebook and Twitter