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by Dave Foreman
I can't believe it is almost here - cold weather and the winter months. This might be the September/October edition of my newsletter, but I thought this year we would get a jump on cold and flu season. Too often we wait until it is too late to address our immune system. You may not be aware that the incubation period for the flu can vary from days to weeks. Exposure today may mean that you don't develop symptoms for weeks. This year, I am suggesting that you get ahead of the game. Here are some simple tips for avoiding winter bugs: would be Echinacea and Vitamin C (higher doses). These types of supplements would be used at the first onset of symptoms, but really provide no benefit for "preventing" problems this season. They are more for the "pay me later" people who don't like to be proactive and use preventative measures.
"Support" supplements, on the other hand, are slower-acting (take at least 3 days to start working) and can be used for extended periods of time (months). These supplements provide key nutrients or components to make or Nordic Naturals. All are what I consider the highest quality.
Lastly, make sure you follow my 4 Pillars of Great Health which include the rest of the dietary supplement pyramid. Taking supplements is just part of ensuring healthy aging. Getting enough activity, eating right and being connected spiritually/mentally will take care of the rest. For many reading this article, listing just antioxidants and fish oil might seem simplistic (you may be wondering, "Did he leave something out?"), but healthy aging doesn't have to be complicated. If you understand how your body works (physiologically and biochemically), and incorporate my suggestions, you should age "gracefully" and healthfully. Too many times people wait until it is too late to begin making changes. You can either pay now or pay later, but sooner or later you will have to pay! I choose to pay now and live a happier and healthier life as I age.
Supplements: Using certain supplements can give your immune system the added support it needs to fend of foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. The key word is "support." There are two basic ways to address your immune system and its needs: stimulation and support. Supplements that stimulate the immune system are for short term use (a few weeks) and will cause an increase in production and activity of certain immune cells. Examples of stimulating supplements sure your immune system is functioning optimally. I prefer to use combination formulas to achieve this. Combination formulas address multiple facets of your immune system, giving you the broadest approach possible to preventing immune challenges. My preferred formulas are: Advanced Immune Support, Host Defense, Life Shield and Immunactive.
Diet and Activity:
These also play an important role in your longterm immune health. Eating more whole foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc.) and consuming little to no refined foods (white foods - rice, breads, pasta, sugar, honey, etc.) will have a profound impact on your immune system. Refined foods hamper the effectiveness of certain immune cells and in some cases can decrease your immune function by 50 percent. Why do you think our children get sick after birthday parties, holidays, Halloween, etc.?
Increasing your activity (exercise) has been shown to notably improve your immune shield. 30-45 minutes of brisk walking 5-7 days per week will add another significant component to your winter immune support.
Combining approaches is the key to staying healthy throughout the cold weather months. Just eating right, exercising or taking supplements alone is good, but combining all three together will assure you that you're doing everything you can to avoid being sick during this year's cold and flu season.