Hello, everyone! I'm Dr. Linebarger and today I want to talk to you about something very important - how to boost your immune system during the flu season. As a primary care physician and mom of three young kids, I've seen firsthand the difference that a strong immune system can make in keeping healthy. So, let's dive into some key tips to help you stay resilient during flu season.
- Proper Nutrition: First and foremost, a balanced diet is your best friend when it comes to boosting your immune system. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your immune system needs.
- Hydration: Stay well-hydrated. Water helps transport nutrients into the cells and tissues and remove waste from your body, which is vital for immune function. I recommend 2 liters a day of water that is not mixed with any sort of electrolyte or other additive.
- Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity is not only great for your overall health but also for your immune system. Exercise can help your immune cells function more effectively. I can appreciate when you’re sick it’s hard to get out of bed or feel motivated to exercise. Getting fresh air outside for a brief 10-30 minute walk can actually aid in recovery so long as you are resting before and after that.
- Sufficient Sleep: Don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to keep your immune system in top shape.
- Stress Management: Stress can weaken your immune system. Try stress-reduction techniques like meditation or mindfulness to keep stress at bay.
- Hand Hygiene: Simple practices like washing your hands frequently can go a long way in preventing infections. It's one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs.
- Vaccination: I can't stress this enough - getting your flu shot is crucial (for most). It's one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from the flu. Please discuss with me or your healthcare provider if you’ve had vaccine reactions in the past.
- Supplements: I will do a deep dive specifically on why these specific supplements boost your immune system but I recommend Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Quercetin, and N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC when you feel the cold coming on.
- Avoiding Tobacco or THC and Excessive Alcohol: What, Doc? Come on! Excessive substances can weaken the immune system, and disrupt your body's defenses. So, it's best to limit or avoid these if you’re under the weather.
- Finally, number 10…A Day in the life of Dr. L in a perfect world: Whenever one of my little monsters is sick (which feels like every other week) I go to Juiceland and get a Doctor Doctor shot (I know, the not fun kind of shot). I walk for half an hour, eat some protein, then I lie around in bed all day reading or listening to Peter Attia, the Drive, alternating with mindless reality TV like Below Deck. I let my husband pick the kids up, prepare dinner and I eat my homemade caldo, cram a bunch of Orthomolecular Orthomune capsules in my mouth along with my other supplements, go to sleep at 7pm and sleep 10 hours.
In all seriousness, you can significantly boost your immune system and reduce your risk of falling ill during flu season if you follow my nine recommendations. Remember, prevention is key. And if you have any specific health concerns, reach out anytime.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and take care of your immune system.