Blog | Support Your Natural Immune Defenses During Cold and Flu Season

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Support Your Natural Immune Defenses During Cold and Flu Season

BySarah Axtell, ND December 2, 2021

As we are still dealing with a global pandemic and are now in the midst of cold and flu season, there is no better time to be proactive with your health. We know that comorbidities, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease worsen outcomes of viral illnesses. In addition to these comorbid conditions, here are other factors that also affect immunity:

  • Gut Health– Dysbiosis (or an imbalance of gut bacteria) can be due to a diet low in fiber and high in sugar, antibiotic use, and stress. Dysbiosis is associated with a greater incidence of pro-inflammatory cytokine storm and worsened outcomes of viral infections. After all, about 80% of our immune system is located in the gut.
    • Look for a probiotic with Bifidobacterium in it. Bifidobacterium lactis in particular is associated with improved immune function.
    • Eat fermented foods daily to diversify your gut bacteria- sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, plain yogurt.
    • Eat prebiotic rich foods to encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria in the large intestine. Prebiotics are food for your probiotics. Prebiotic rich foods include Jerusalem artichokes , onions, garlic, leeks, jicama, and asparagus.

I hope you feel empowered with the above information to hopefully prevent viral infections this winter. If you do get sick, optimizing the above factors will most likely improve your outcomes.

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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