270 – Supporting Seasonal Immunity – My Interview with Jolie Root

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Strategies for staying healthier during the cold and flu season.

Immune Support

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Jolie RootColds and flu are the common health issue we all share. How can we support our immune system and reduce our risk? If we do become sick, what is the strategy for getting  better faster? Personally, I don’t know anyone who never gets sick in winter ever. Some people have a high level of resistance and others seem to catch every bug that crosses their path. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle. Each person has to evaluate their own circumstances and seek to build a program that promotes health. 

In this interview Jolie Root discusses some of the lifestyle factors that may influence your resistance or susceptibility. She discusses what she considers some of the foundational immune supporting nutrients. We discuss some the innovative nutritional products that we have used as part of our individual home natural medicine chests. It is not surprising that we have used many of the same products to provide support during times of seasonal distress. One of the important concepts is to be prepared. Stock your home with the products that you can use at the first sign of distress. Better to have plenty on hand and not need them, than to get sick and not have what you need. It is critical that you provide support as soon as possible. Time is truly of the essence in this case. Hit it big and hit it soon will give you the best chance of success.

First step: determine to live a healthier life. Step by step move towards better eating. Good nutrition is the foundation to good health. Add nutritional supplements as needed to create a more comprehensive nutritional profile. Seek to reduce those things that could compromise your health. Some of the foundational nutrients are a multi-vitamin, extra vitamins A, C, and D. Many people don’t realize that vitamin A is considered anti-infection and vitamin D is critical for immune function. If you are a frequent sufferer, try increasing these nutrients during the cold and flu season.

What to do when you start to get sick: you need to figure out what you are dealing with. Is this a cold or flu or perhaps more serious? Here is a brief article from DoctorDoctor.com discussing the distinctions. Don’t neglect to seek medical care for serious conditions such as pneumonia or bronchitis. If this something you can treat at home then take action right away. The sooner you respond and begin hyper nourishing your body, the sooner you will start to feel better. I have found many times that if I dose up at the first sign I will often stop whatever it is. If I wait, even 6 or 12 hours, then I am certain to have more involvement and longer recovery. Once you determine what you are dealing with you can take specific support supplements. The main choices that you will have will be vitamin/minerals, herbs and homeopathic remedies. Jolie and I discuss the one’s that we have both found effective in all of these categories. 

  • Vitamins: A, C, D.
  • Minerals: Zinc, silver
  • Herbs: Echinacea, elderberry, oregano and green tea.
  • Homeopathic: Ocillococcinum, Influenzinum, various formulas for specific symptoms.
  • Foods: Peppers, mustard and horseradish help open sinuses. Chicken broth seems to be particularly soothing for coughs and colds.

In addition to nutritional support there is a lot you can do to facilitate your recovery. Here are some ideas (in no particular order):

  • Drink more fluids. Herb tea and broth are good choices. Lemon water is easier for some people to drink when they are sick. It is important to stay hydrated.
  • Stay home and rest if possible. Resting allows your body to put it’s energy into fighting the virus. This keeps you from further exposure and others are not exposed to you. 
  • Keep the nasal passages clear. Try to expel excess mucus. Use steam to provide relief. Hot baths or showers can provide some relief.
  • Use salt water. Gargle with salt water and use salt water as a nasal lavage.
  • Consume foods which support immune function such as garlic, onions, carrots and of course chicken soup.

While even the best of us will get something on occasion, we also are confident that we get sick less often than others around us. We also have confidence that we can be proactive when we get sick. All of us know that medicines are not all that effective at helping when you have the cold or flu. Those who are well nourished will do better than those that are not. And we know that if we are diligent at treating ourselves that we will do better with either less severe symptoms or faster recovery or both. Usually both.

About Jolie Root
Jolie is the Senior Nutritionist/Educator at Carlson Laboratories. She began as a natural products retailer who evolved into a career in education in the health sciences. She is a nutritionist and a nurse. She understands both the science and the practical application of good nutrition for health. Jolie hosts a weekly radio show called Food for Thought which is heard in New York, Florida and online.

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