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By: Hayley Erdman Naturopathic Intern

Now that it seems as though winter is here to stay, cold and flu season is upon us. We all know about preventing transmission of disease by hand-washing, cleaning commonly used surfaces like phones and keyboards and staying home to rest, but there’s more that you can do to strengthen your immune system to prevent illness, and to reduce the duration and the severity of your symptoms.

Here are 5 strategies for keeping your immune system working at its best:

  1. Increase your consumption of fresh whole foods, particularly foods high in vitamin C, zinc and anti-microbial components. Think beyond citrus fruits: berries, broccoli, nuts and raw garlic and onion.
  2. Make sure you’re getting your 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is restorative to the body and maintains healthy immunity.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking water and herbal or caffeine-free tea.
  4. Improve circulation: exercise for 20 minutes daily and practice deep breathing techniques nightly.
  5. Keep a natural immune boosting tool kit at home so when that tickle starts at the back of your throat, you’re prepared. Vitamin C, vitamin D, Echinacea tea and Manuka honey are great basics to keep on hand.

For more tips and tricks, as well as easy immune boosting recipes, come by for a complimentary information session with Hayley Erdman, 4th year naturopathic intern from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Hayley will be doing demonstrations on Tuesday, January  20th, 27th and February 3rd from 1-7pm.  No appointment necessary.