Daily Nutrition Blog
Cold and Flu Season is Here!
With cold and flu season right around the corner and lasting several months into the New Year, many people are taking precautionary measures to ensure good health during this time. If you are like most Americans, you cannot afford missing a day of work in order to properly heal and rest your sick body. Prevention is your greatest opportunity to avoid the misery all together and if you do, in fact, have the pleasure of being plagued with a cold or the flu, a quick recovery is necessary to not skipping a beat in our busy daily lives.
One of the most crucial components of good health is vitamin D. Nearly 3000 genes are influenced by this important pro-hormone with vitamin D receptors being found throughout the entire body, giving it an important role in any health condition. In one of the largest studies ever done on the association between vitamin D levels and respiratory infections, analysts found those with lower levels of vitamin D had more frequent colds or cases of the flu, which also lasted longer than individuals with healthy levels. Multiple studies from around the world conclude vitamin D as a fundamental contributor for a healthy immune system. Optimal levels can help to prevent and/or quickly recover from our seasonal terrors. Dr. Robert Heaney recommends 5000 IUs for adults.
Coconut oil is another great remedy used all over the world for combating symptoms of the common cold. Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has anti-viral properties that make it perfect for fighting winter colds. Studies have shown that coconut oil can bolster a weakened immune system by improving white blood cell counts, which helps the body directly fight viruses and infections. Coconut oil consumed on a regular basis can aid in avoiding a cold or the flu all together. However, if symptoms do arise, doubling your coconut oil intake can significantly speed up healing time.
Green tea is also proving to be an effective way of preventing colds and the flu. In a study by the University of Florida, participants were followed around for three months with one group taking green tea capsules and the other group taking a placebo. Participants in the green tea group had 32% fewer individuals afflicted with cold or flu symptoms and, of those who got those symptoms, 58% fewer participants had to receive treatment as compared with participants who took the placebo. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which strengthen your immune system and fight away those viruses and the flu. Green tea also contains an alkaloid called theophylline, which helps open your airways, making cold symptoms far more bearable. As studies show, green tea can also provide us with some much-needed energy as we ward of the winter viruses.