Dr. Gil adds that maintaining health should be no different during winter than during any other season. Ill health may manifest differently during the colder months than at other times of the year, but true vitality and wellness are reflected in many more measures than whether or not you develop an infection.
Staying healthy does not mean staying free of infection. The body needs tune-ups from time to time, which is something that infections provide. Acute illness is a way our bodies eliminate unhealthy cells and toxins.
But repeated infections, overly severe symptoms, and lingering illness are not signs of good health. Even without an infection, imbalances of mood, energy, focus, stress, sleep, and/or food cravings can be clues of disturbance in the body. Balancing these are important to be able to live life to the fullest.
When people ask me in November what they can do to avoid the flu, it’s akin to being concerned, in June, about how your bathing suit will look on you this summer. Good health is a daily process requiring constant acts. Consistently good diet, exercise, stress relief, and supplementation over months or years provides the most significant protection. That said, there are things we can do to help during the cold and flu season. Here are a few ideas to help.
- Vitamin D supplementation is super important in the Pacific Northwest but likely everywhere in the winter. Testing levels can help determine how much is needed. Vitamin D helps boost immune function, and low levels may be related to immune suppression.
- Vitamin A is an excellent anti-viral. Supplementation can help ward off infection.
- A good quality probiotic (the “good bacteria” you’ve perhaps heard about), which balances immune function. Probiotics are also excellent for clearing excess hormones.
- Zinc supplementation is essential for immunity. Most Americans are zinc deficient. Zinc balances many functions in the body including immune resistance. Without it, the body is at a critical disadvantage fighting infections.
A combination of these can help reduce your risk of illness and keep you healthy this holiday season. If you have tried these and still get sick a lot, call for a consultation.
Norma Crocker says
Something everyone should read.
Norma Crocker says
I like Dr. Gil’s overview of how the body reacts to the seasons.