Winter is Coming: How to Avoid Cold and Flu

Ah, winter. It brings images of cozy nights by the fire, warm food, holiday joy, and quality time with loved ones to the mind. But wait– it also brings something else, which isn’t as pleasant: cold and flu season.

Colds and flus can make people sick on a monthly basis especially during the winter months. Thankfully the Silicon Valley Health Institute has provided some helpful pointers on how to avoid getting sick during winter. Here are some useful tips to assist you in keeping your body's immune system healthy. 

Flu Fighting Oils

Essential oils are extracted from plants with natural healing properties. They have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and have documented results in alleviating some pain and illnesses. Essential oils are generally used topically, but it can also be put in a diffuser. Sometimes essential oils can be taken orally.

Here are some essential oils that can boost immunity against cold and flu.

  1. Eucalyptus oil has eucalyptol, which alleviates blockages, lowers coughing/bronchitis, and eliminates infectious bacteria in your throat and lungs. Eucalyptus oil can be applied topically on the skin (not advised for children). To use it effectively, dab it under each nostril. This trick is particularly handy when your nasal passages are blocked and you can't sleep.
  2. Cinnamon oil is effective in killing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. You can use it to clean your home or take it orally as a pill. But there are three things to keep in mind:
  • Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon) is an oil and not a Cassia product, which is a different spice from cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon oil can be toxic in high doses, so don't take it for more than a week.
  • If you plan to take it orally, dab a small bit on your skin to test your sensitivity.
  • Oregano oil has antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It also consists of carvacrol as well as thymol, both of which inhibit microbial reproduction. Oregano oil's benefits have only been studied in petri dishes, but medical professionals have found success with it, especially against infections from fungus or parasites. Some professionals say the oil can impact the healthy germs in your intestine as well, so it is good to use it in moderation. 
  • Tea Tree oil is amazing as a disinfectant cleaner for your home, and it can also eliminate congestion when you breathe in its vapor, but take note: do not swallow this oil.
  • Immune Boosting Supplements 

    Depending on the person you're talking to, supplements either do everything, nothing, or a little bit of both. But it is scientifically proven that some supplements can aid with immune improvement and resistance. Here are some supplements that can keep you from catching cold and flu during the winter seasons. 

    1. Vitamin D3: Some people believe Vitamin D3 can be used in place of an influenza shot. When taking this, it is important to optimize your D3 with K2 and Vitamin A. The gene receptor for Vitamin D absorption, VDR, plays an significant role in the immune system, by expressing in white blood cells. It’s also been shown to affect the adrenal gland by synthesizing the following:
    • Neurotrophic factors – small proteins or peptides that support the growth, survival, and differentiation of both developing and mature neurons. These tiny biomolecules promote neurons during initial growth and development within the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
    • Nitric Oxide (NO) synthase - is broken down from the amino acid, L-arginine. NO is a signaling molecule for your cells, and an important one at that. Here’s why, NO promotes healthy blood flow in arteries by dilating blood vessels and relaxing smooth muscle linings. Furthermore, it modulates insulin secretion and peristalsis (contraction and relaxation of muscles).
    • Glutathione - mentioned below.
  • Vitamin C: Unlike the common misconception, this vitamin doesn't prevent illness, however it can help your body kick out an illness faster. But, it takes A LOT to see results, and since Vitamin C is water soluble, any that your body doesn't absorb will end up in your pee, or even worse you may get disaster pants. You have to find the right amount that works for you, and when you do, you’ll have to continue to take it for it to work.
    • If you can, take no more than 5 grams on a typical day. You might be able to take 25 or 50 grams per day when you are sick as your body will demand more Vitamin C. For best results when you have colds, try intravenous vitamin C as it provides better concentration and faster absorption.
  • Glutathione is like a battery recharger, juicing up your body's antioxidants after you utilize them. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful antioxidants produced by your cells. And, when you combine it with Vitamin C, you’ll be unstoppable. NutraV Grass-Fed Seabuck Protein contains glutathione and pomegranate extracts, which is rich in vitamin C, making it the perfect supplement to help protect your body against common colds and the flu. You can easily incorporate it into your diet by adding one scoop into your daily smoothie, breakfast bowl, juice or even just water. 
  • Zinc can help you get rid of a cold faster and also decrease its symptoms, too... as long as you take it within 24 hrs when you feel a cold creeping up on you. NutraV Z-Hydrate is rich in zinc and with its nano properties, it offers better absorption within the body. Plus it tastes good, so even children will have no problem taking this supplement. 
  • Superfoods

    Surprise! Your grandma is right about soup – well, mostly right. Kudos to granny!

    1. Classic chicken soup is a staple recipe with ingredients that can actually fight viruses that trigger upper respiratory system infections. Make the soup with bones of pasture-raised chickens, or use beef or lamb bone broth bases.
    2. Ginger is rich in sesquiterpenes, which are anti-rhinoviral. meaning it is very effective in fighting off rhinovirus, the most predominant agent of common colds. To get ginger's benefits, you can make ginger tea, consume raw ginger, or include ginger in your chicken soup. You can also grate a couple of tablespoons of fresh ginger and toss it in a bone- broth soup.
    3. Garlic is a great "anti" food. It is anti -viral, -bacterial, -parasitic, and -fungal. It is fantastic for boosting your immune system. If you are hardcore, you can swish an uncut clove of raw garlic inside your mouth for 15-20 minutes. If you're not that brave, then just toss it into your dishes like your chicken/bone broth ginger soup.
    4. Turmeric is a useful spice with excellent antioxidant properties. If you want full immune-boosting results, try curcumin extract, the primary substance found in turmeric. You can buy curcumin on its own or mixed with black pepper, which can increase absorption in the body. If you get the curcumin with black pepper mix, make sure to pick one from a reputable brand as the black pepper extract can be moldy.

    What Else Can You Do?

    Cold treatments: Staying physically cold increases your metabolism, which in turn boosts your immunity engines. Try a blast of cold water at the end of your morning shower, or leave your windows open for 30 minutes, but only do it when you are NOT sick; otherwise, it can MAKE your illness worse. Look into ice baths or cryotherapy, if you really want to boost your immune system. 

    Exercise: Light exercise can additionally shield you from the cold or influenza, but overworking your body with too much or too rigorous routines can tank your immune system. If your health is top-notch, doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or resistance training is a great way to maintain your defenses. Do it outside in the cold and eliminate 2 birds with one stone. If you haven’t been physically active for a long time, take it slowly and build your strength and stamina before you start doing more strenuous exercises. 

    When all is said and done, and you still get the cold and flu, rest up, hydrate and eat plenty of nutritious food and you’ll be back to full health in no time. Our bodies are powerful engines with built-in fighting mechanisms to survive common attackers. But, to help you heal faster you can take medication as well, and the more natural the better for your body. NutraV Flubiotic is a great option as it consists of the perfect blend of clean ingredients with immune-boosting, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Heal faster naturally and make sure you still get to enjoy your winter season.