As winter approaches, cold and flu season is sure to follow. Could there be a correlation between the excessive amounts of sugar that we consume over consecutive holidays and a season of repetitive sickness? Considering sugar weakens the immune system, inhibiting its ability to effectively and efficiently fight of viruses, I would absolutely argue that the high amounts of sugar we consume during the holiday season, influences increased sickness. As the holiday season commences, it is important that we take proper care of our bodies so that our immune systems are strong enough to win every battle against sickness.
What vitamins should you be taking to strengthen your immune system?
Vitamin D (technically a hormone): Vitamin D has many roles in the body, including to assist in the activation of T-Cells, whose job is to identify and attack foreign pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D is vital for a properly working immune system that is able to identify and destroy sickness before it can take over.
Zinc: Not only is zinc crucial for many physiological functions, but it is also one of the key factors in immune system function. Zinc assists in the development and function of immune cells and thus is vital for the body to fight off viruses this cold and flu season.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is pretty well-known for its quick acting ability to fight off an oncoming cold. The reason being, vitamin C is an antioxidant, fighting off free radicals in the body, strengthening cellular function, and increasing immunity all at the same time.
Echinacea: Echinacea might be my favorite immune supporter, as it has been the one to make the most difference when I am fighting off a virus. White blood cells are responsible for protecting the body against infection, as they circulate through the blood stream and attack any foreign pathogens that they come across. Echinacea increases the white blood cell count in the body, allowing for a more efficient team for destroying foreign pathogens, such as cold and flu viruses.
What foods should you eat?
The best food for your body are those with low grains and sugar. Foods such as:
-Seeds & Nuts (in moderation)
-Bone broth protein powder
-Foods high in fat (olives, avocados)
-Home cooked meals
What foods should you avoid?
-Genetically modified foods (such as corn)
-Most boxed snacks, as they are high in sugar & typically made with high fructose corn syrup (such as cookies & granola bars)
-Most cereals, as they are high in sugar & typically made with high fructose corn syrup
-Try to avoid grains as much as possible, as they cause inflammation and thus, weaken the immune system
Can I eat sugar on Thanksgiving and Christmas?!
YES!! Just make your own holiday meals and substitute:
-wheat flour with gluten free or grain free flour
-corn syrup with pure cane sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or even xylitol
-soda with Zevia’s
-cow’s milk with plant milk
-Limit your consumption of grains, sugar, and processed foods
-Take your vitamins & supplements
-Wash your hands!!
And in case you haven’t been reminded yet today, our health is our own responsibility, no one else’s.
Take care of your body and protect your immune system during this coming season of annual sickness.
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