Back in the fall, the CDC predicted this would be the worst flu season since 2004. With the amount of outbreaks and deaths so far this year, they may unfortunately be right on the money. Instead of feeling defenseless, gather your arsenal together so you are prepared to fight off anything that may come your way!
Echinacea used to be my go-to herb if I felt the tiniest indication of a cold coming on. However, I now turn to Black Raspberry. Before you think you have this in your freezer, hold that thought. Black Raspberries are actually very rare-they’re only harvested for a few weeks every summer in Oregon. Black Raspberries are a super-antioxidant and have been shown to have up to 300% more antioxidants than other berries! Antioxidants fight free radicals, therefore boosting your immune system. I like to take them twice a day during the cold and flu season, and then every couple of hours if I feel a little bug coming on. This is the one I like the most because it’s pure and freeze-dried.
As the sunshine vitamin, we instantly correlate being outside with getting enough Vitamin D. However, it takes about 15 minutes of direct sunlight (without sunscreen) to get your daily requirement. Are you kidding me? I ask people in lectures how many get that much and rarely does anyone raise their hand. This is really serious when it comes to immunity-so much so that 75% of Americans are deficient! So how does Vitamin D impact our immune health? Research has found that Vitamin D appears to interact with many different cells within the immune system. A study by the University of Copenhagen found that Vitamin D is critical for T-cell activation. Your T-cells are your defense! If you don’t have enough Vitamin D in your system, the T-cells cannot produce more T-cells or change into pathogen-killing cells. Sounds pretty important to me! I take a few thousand IUs of liquid Vitamin D every day.
This may be one you haven’t heard of, but IP-6 is composed of inositol (one of the B vitamins), bound with six phosphorous molecules. Not only has it been shown to turn cancerous cells back to normal cells, it also does two really cool things with the immune system. First, it has been scientifically proven that IP-6 enhances the activity of NK cells. NK cells, also called natural killers, target cells that have changed and become cancerous or are virally infected cells. Second, Oxford University showed IP-6 increased neutrophils ability to protect us. This white blood cell is our primary defense against bacteria. We are exposed to bacteria all day long and since it constantly mutates, it is extremely important we have something like IP-6 on our side.
*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!
~by Kimberly Olson