Many people are deficient of vitamin D3 due to lack of sun light exposure, and lack of vitamin D3 from food sources. People with a BMI of 30 or higher are at higher risk of being deficient( vitamins a, d e, and k are stored in the adipose tissue of the body, the more fat tissue the less available vitamin D is to the body) people with darker skin are at a higher risk of being deficient related to melanin blocking out D3 during sun exposure, living in northern states and being elderly affect you as well.
What are the benefits of vitamin D3?
Reduces occurance of respiratory illness such as pneumonia, the flu, bronchitis and can provide better support for conditions like COPD and asthma. Supplementing my toddler with vitamin D decreased her asthma symptoms by 50%.
Vitamin D aids in the absorb calcium and phosphorus which is essential to bone health.
Vitamin D has benefits for us mentally especially during winter time when sun exposure is reduced. Vitamin D can help with with the symptoms seasonal depression.
How do I take it?
One of my favorite supplement companies is Life Extension. For a small amount of money you can supplement your body with vitamin D easily.
Supplementing is good way to obtain Vitamin D. It’s ideal to obtain vitamin D from whole food sources. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel , cheese and egg yolks. Plant forms of vitamin D are actually called vitamin d2 and this is often found fortified in almondmilks, soymilks and available in mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light. Nothing beats getting sunlight itself!
Can I take too much?
Yes ,when prior to supplementing with vitamin D you should do some blood work to see if you are deficient of vitamin D or not. Over supplementing can result in high levels of calcium in the body resulting to damage of the kidneys and bone.
Wash your hands it’s actually #1
In nursing school it was literally drilled into my head that #1 for reducing infection is hand washing! Over use of hand sanitizers removes the good bacteria on our skins surface. It’s important to wash your hands with soap and water to remove bad bacteria. When your hands are visibly dirty, after using the bathroom, going out of the house ( touching money, door knobs etc), touching your germ trapped phone and before making meals is a small list of a whole slew of times/ reasons to wash your hands on a regular basis.
Hand sanitizers contain alcohol which dries and cracks the skin, leaving it open to bacteria. It’s good practice with any handwashing to use lotion when hands are dry to prevent cracking/ drying.
Read the link below to find out the pros and cons of using hand sanitizers over good old soap and water.
Are Hand Sanitizers Harmful? | Rush University Medical Center
Supplement with Zinc!
Zinc has many roles in the body that support immune function. Zinc helps break down carbohydrates for cell function, aids in cell growth ( wound healing benefits). Zinc can help prevent the common cold and shorten its duration. If you are deficient in zinc you’ll find that your sense of smell and taste maybe altered. Zinc helps reverse those problems.
Where can I find zinc as whole food sources?
- nuts, grains, legumes ( chickpeas, beans)
- Animal protein beef, chicken, lamb
- Mushrooms, kale, garlic
You can also purchase zinc and zinc lozengers as a tablet or capsule over the counter.
Apple cider vinegar ( with the mother)
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented food that is rich in probiotics. Probiotics support the immune system function, aid in digestion and reduce fungal infections.
Mind Body Green’s blog states apple cider vinegar may result in a trimmer mid section and additional weight loss as it aids in appetite suppression.
I have personally used apple cider for it’s anti fungal benefits, ph balance benefits (for my oral health) . I’ve used AVC for my skin ( it’s antibacterial properties works well on acne caused by bacteria)
I’ve used it to clean my hair and any time I feel a cold coming on I begin supplementing with Bragg’s AVC. It’s raw unpasterized and contains those live probiotics.
Garlic, Ginger and cayenne pepper.
I use raw ginger for it’s anti inflammatory benefits. It reduces nausea and muscle pain that comes with a cold or flu.
Raw garlic has many benefits due to its anti oxidant power. It can help boost immunity and prevent infection. I used garlic during my pregnancy to control gestational high blood pressure. It worked well for me. Garlic has many positive affects on heart health.
Cayenne Pepper has pain relieving properties. How is this so? The active chemical in Cayenne pepper is Capsaicin. Capsaicin reduces certain amounts of a neuropepitde related to pain. It reduces those signals going to the brain which in turn reduces pain levels throughout the body.
Lemon and Apples! An apple a day…..
Lemons are a great food source of the almighty vitamin C. Lemons have anti inflammatory benefits and are a rich anti bacterial properties that prevent infections. Lemons aid in the removal of wastes from the body by improving the kidneys and liver function. Lemon is often used in detox protocols for this reason.
Apples are a rich source of vitamin C just like lemons! Havard Nutritionalist have studied the benefits of apples and this is what they’ve come up with.
“Apples are rich in quercetin and pectin, both of which are credited for supplying apples with their health benefits.  Quercetin is a flavonoid, a type of naturally occurring plant chemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that may help prevent constipation and have a modest effect on lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. “
My cold/ flu chasing tea
- Filtered purified water ( any amount I just eye everything
- Washed raw ginger peeled ( about the size of a teaspoon) kepted whole
- Raw garlic ( one clove whole)
- Whole apples washed and halved
- Thyme, Cinnamon or cayenne and raw honey for taste
- Raw washed lemon cut and squeezed
- Apple Cider Vingar with the mother 1 table spoon
Bring apples, garlic, ginger, lemons to a boil allowing the apples to become mushy.
Add cinnamon, thyme, cayenne pepper ans whatever herbs you’d like.
Strain those ingredients. Add ACV to the tea. And some raw honey for taste!!
Other great sources
I could write a whole blog post about the benefits of elderberries during cold and flu season.. this miracle berry is a great addition to your cold/flu management. I recommend Organic Olivia’s elderberry syrup its packed with antioxidants and immune support.
This post is not intended to replace medical recommendations, prevent or cure disease. It’s not intended to replace medical advice. Please see your Holistic doctor or primary physican for medical instruction. Do not start supplementation without proper blood work up and without informing your doctor first .
Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks – Harvard Health
Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections — ScienceDaily
Zinc in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
6 Surprising Ways Garlic Boosts Your Health – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
15 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in Morning Empty Stomach | Edison Institute
A Beginner’s Guide To Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits, Safety & Use
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