Flu is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets. In this article, Chris Kresser explain the symptoms of flu, the treatment options, and how to prevent the flu.
The cold & flu season comes around each year. Here is a guide to boost your immune
system and protect yourself from infections and lessen their intensity if you do get
1: Avoid common food toxins
The worst offenders are:
•Industrial seed oils
Food toxins provoke an immune reaction that can make us more vulnerable to foreign
invaders like bacteria and viruses. Your main drink during the day should be tapped water,
avoiding soda with lots of sugar. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables as they are full of healthy
ingredients. The Mediterranean diet is the best documented diet which your health &
wellness will benefit from. It is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits,
legumes, and unprocessed grains, low consumption of meat and meat products (maybe two
to three times per month), and low consumption of dairy products.
2: Take your cod liver oil
Vitamins A & D both play significant roles in immune health. Cod liver oil is rich in both and
contains essential healthy fatty acids such as DHA & EPA which supports your immunes
system. By getting sufficiently fatty acids through your diet (2-3 times a week), or
alternatively by taking cod liver oil you can get fewer colds and milder and shorter colds if
they do get them. The benefits of cod liver oil are well documented in the literature. The
Norwegian National Council for Nutrition recommends that everyone have a daily intake of 5
ml cod liver oil* (*except children less than 1 years old)
3: Eat fermented foods
Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi strengthen and
maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first
line of defense against pathogens. What’s more, 75% of our immune system is found in the
4: Wash your hands frequently &
Maybe you already know this, but studies have shown that frequent handwashing is one of
the most important things we can do to protect ourselves during cold & flu season. Consider
washing your hands every time you arrive at a destination while out and about, and first thing
when you get home.
5: Avoid stress
Stress over time challenges the immune system. Try to find stress relief techniques, some
might be to take some time off during the day, a 20-minute nap, or by reading a book or
doing yoga. Find an activity that you enjoy doing.
6: Get enough sleep
The body recovers during night and by sleeping 7-8 hours you will give you body and your
immune system sufficient time to recover.
7: Supplement when necessary
There are certain supplements that can be helpful in fighting off a cold or lessening its
duration. Many people have reported that high doses of vitamin D (i.e. 20,000 IU/day) at the
first signs of a cold keep it away. There isn’t any research to support this, and it might be
placebo, but some experience to get the effect & high doses of vitamin D over the short term
(1-3 days) are not harmful. Vitamin C is useful for fighting off colds and a high dosage of C-
vitamin and other antioxidants such as blueberry can be helpful. Take 1g C-vitamin every 3-4
Finally, there are several botanicals that might have a potent immune-boosting effect. These
include echinacea, ginseng, ginger root, garlic and elder flower. Countries in the far east
have a long and proud history & tradition of using natural remedies to boost health.