Cold and flu season is upon us. With the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 it seems like we’ve had a year-round flu season, but with the arrival of cooler weather other flu and cold strains will soon be making the rounds.

The threat of COVID-19 infection makes it more important than ever to remember that old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The best prevention in this case is a strong immune system and an awareness of conditions that can lead to infection.

Some things that may lower your immune system

*People with chronic conditions like lung or heart conditions or autoimmune diseases tend to have compromised immune systems.

*Increased stress lowers immunity. Stress can be mental or physical and may be experienced at work or at home. Stress levels tend to increase during the holiday season because we tend to push ourselves to keep up with the demands of the holidays.

*Lack of sleep also lowers the immune system. Decreased deep sleep or fewer hours of sleep can make it harder for our bodies to fight off disease.

So what can we do to stay healthy?

For those in higher risk categories, a seasonal flu shot may be a good start. But remember that the flu shot only protects against certain strains of disease.

The best way to stay healthy is by practicing good hygiene and naturally building your immune system every day. Here are some tips and suggestions:

*Wearing a mask where recommended, washing your hands often, and maintaining social distance are all good ways to avoid all types of communicable diseases.

*Regular exercise can boost your immune system and help fight off infections. Exercise allows immune cells to perform effectively — it increases blood flow, reduces stress and inflammation, and can strengthen antibodies.

*Supplementing your diet with vitamin D and vitamin C is a good way to boost the immune system.

*Avoid eating too much sugar; it can lower the immune system.

*Eat plenty of garlic and take garlic supplements. Garlic is a natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.

*Supplements that contain humic acid act as a strong antiviral.

*Certain homeopathic remedies are effective in supporting the body’s immune system. Research what may best fit your circumstances.

*Make food your medicine. Raw fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are a great start.

*Get plenty of rest—fighting off colds and flu takes energy!

For my patients, I offer intravenous (IV) treatments with vitamin C, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. IV therapy can stimulate the immune system to protect from infections and can help reduce the duration and severity of symptoms during an acute viral infection.

Be good to your body this winter and give it what it needs to take care of you!