Patient Q: I am looking for a natural approach to prevent illness. What are some ways in which I can stay healthy during cold and flu season this year?
Dr. Lewis A: The Naturopathic medical model recognizes that the best strategy in the prevention and treatment of seasonal illness is to balance the immune defences to ensure that your body is able to effectively deal with any bugs that you may come across.
Cold and flu prevention begins with a foundation of basic healthy diet and lifestyle choices. This includes consuming a whole food diet rich in proteins, whole grains, good fats and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Avoidance of processed and refined foods especially ones that are high in sugars will support the goal of optimal immune health. Lifestyle choices like daily exercise that increase body temperature and induce sweating, sleep hygiene that promotes quality rest and stress management activities like deep breathing and yoga will all play a key role in immune system balance.
In addition there are many different vitamin, mineral, herbal and homeopathic formulas that have been shown to prevent and treat colds and flu. A Naturopathic doctor will further assess your individual needs and develop a specific treatment plan to prevent cold and flu during this season.