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tips to stay healthy during the cold & flu season

Stay healthy during cold and flu season

It’s November and you can feel a delightful crispness in the air here in Central Texas.

One of the less delightful things about this time of year is the increased incidence of illness.  As we march into late fall and winter, cold and flu season begins to rear its ugly head.  In fact, it can be an especially dreaded time for families with young kids.  However, I’ve got some good news to share – new research published last month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that daily consumption of a vitamin C supplement and probiotics in children between the ages of 3-6 years old significantly decreased the likelihood of an upper respiratory tract infection, as well a decreased rate of absence from school.

Black elderberry is also another wonderful adjunct to support the immune system throughout the cold and flu season – studies show that it is an extremely effective antiviral that rivals if not surpasses the effectiveness of Tamiflu against the flu virus.  In fact, a 2004 study showed that people who had flu-like symptoms and used elderberry syrup instead of a placebo syrup experienced 4 fewer days of symptoms.  Elderberry can be purchased at any health food store or learn how to make it here.

And don’t forget that vitamin D plays a big role in immune function, as well.  A 2010 study found that children aged 6-15 that were taking 1,200 IU of Vitamin D3 were shown to be 42 percent less likely to come down with the flu.

Finally, eating a clean diet, free of sugar and processed foods, and rich in vegetables (especially onions and garlic) will support your health and boost your immunity.