SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - While it's believed by some the winter months bring more germs that isn't necessarily true. Consider the impact of holiday stress, school, and work on people combined with a lack of sleep.
Clinical nutritionist Tara Coleman stopped by the studio Monday to share natural ways to combat those stressors and prevent and fight the flu or cold that could result.
Vitamin D is the go-to nutrient when preventing the flu and even though we live in sunny San Diego, a majority of people are Vitamin D deficient. One way to get more Vitamin D is to add it to you daily meals. Vitamin D can be found in fish, mushrooms, and egg yolks. If Vitamin D levels are especially low, talking to a doctor about supplements is recommended.
Keeping our stomach and immune systems healthy is also key in staving off the flu. Fermented foods aid in sustaining a healthy stomach. Fermented foods are made up of a bacteria that keeps our stomach and immune system healthy. Fermented foods include yogurt, kombucha and miso soup. Due to the anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, garlic is another food option with many health benefits. In terms of health, raw garlic is the way to go.
Even with prevention there is always the chance of getting the flu, so Coleman had some tips to get over the flu. First step is to cut out sugar as soon you start to feel like you are coming down with something. Sugar can feed the flu making it last longer than it should.
Trade in the sugary comfort food for chicken soup. Bone broth has also been known to activate the immune system and cut down on the spread of the flu virus. Bone broth can be made at home or be bought in many local supermarkets.
Vitamin C remains a good vitamin to have when fighting the flu. You can find Vitamin C in bell peppers, citrus food and supplements.
Coleman also reminded us to get enough sleep. Whether we are preventing the flu or getting over the flu, sleep is important to keep us healthy. For more information about fighting the flu or tips to stay healthy, visit Tara Coleman's website.