Here are my Tips for Boosting Your Immunity:
By Susan S. Blum, MD, MPH.
My anti-viral approach is to help you build a strong immune foundation so that you don't get sick from any virus. A strong immune system is the basis for staying healthy in general and should be a year-round strategy…not just during flu season or when there is a threat of a novel previously unknown virus. This is, by far, the best prevention and protection!
1. Good gut health: which means lots of beneficial bacteria. Take a probiotic every day with at least 20 billion cfu of mixed strains lactobacillus and bifidus species. Pay attention to the foods you eat.
2. Balanced stress hormones: Get a good night’s sleep and don't overwork yourself during flu season. Stress harms your ability to fight viruses.
3. Eat foods that are good for your immune system: Avoid processed foods and focus on fruits and veggies that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Support the removal of toxins by eating lots of cruciferous veggies, which boost the detox system in your liver
We created foods that help build good gut flora at Organic Pharmer. Start with one of our programs from the Phast to a Functional Cleanse and then pick the Nourish Program for maintenance.
4. Take your vitamins! Here are some important ones you will need: 1. Vitamin D 2000 iu/day minimum. The dose is based on your blood levels, so if you have low vitamin D you will need more. 2. Vitamin A retinyl palmitate 5000 iu/day. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not take more than 5000 iu/day of this kind of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). 3. Zinc 30 mg/day 4. Vitamin C 3-4000 mg/day as an immune booster - 1-2000 mg/day is good for general prevention.
5. Additional supplements to consider:
a. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): One of my favorites for preventing cold and flu. NAC is widely used in the medical community for a number of conditions, and has terrific clinical data that shows it to be helpful for patients with chronic respiratory illnesses (and so it is very useful for support treating respiratory viral illnesses). It also converts to Glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant. I usually recommend 900 milligram capsules or tablets – start with one twice daily and increase to two twice daily if needed. Pharmanac, a Canadian brand that comes in an effervescent form is easy to take as a fizzy drink – even for children!
b. Herbs like Elderberry, Echinacea, Astragalus, and Beta Glucan (mushroom extracts).
6. Lastly, make sure to wash your hands multiple times a day -- especially before you eat, and after exposure to public transportation like riding the subway.
Wondering how to start building a healthy immune system?
Try one of our programs. The Phast or a Functional Cleanse to kick off your healing journey. If you need help deciding reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.