Having a cold or flu during the winter can leave people feeling down and out, and off track nutritionally and physically. Here are my top tips to help minimize your risk of catching colds and flu.

1. Take a Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and we actually need to ingest it for we our bodies do not make it. Vitamin D helps to maintain calcium balance, aids in cell differentiation (essential for growth and wound healing), boosts your immunity, aids in insulin secretion, blood pressure regulation and plays a role in the following diseases (osteoporosis, cancer, and alzheimer’s).

2. Exercise

Getting your blood pumping regularly can increase the activity of your white blood cells that help to fights viruses. We often tend to become less active as the days get shorter and colder. Try to spend an hour a day active and it doesn’t have to be all at once. If you are fighting a cold, even light exercise in the middle of the day helps your body fight infections. Have trouble staying active in the fall and winter? Join one of Ashley’s programs for guidance, support and accountability.


3. Oil of Oregano

Studies have shown that oil of oregano is effective at killing bacteria, and could also help the immune system take action against viruses, fungi and parasites. This is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics.

4. Increase Your Vitamin A

Experts have long known that vitamin A plays a role in infection, maintaining mucosal surfaces and is also essential for the lymphocytes. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs only in animal foods. However you can eat certain foods that convert to vitamin A— apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.

5. Drink Your Water

In the warm months it is easier to drink more water, however the heat indoors throughout the winter is much drier and without sufficient moisture your immune system cells can’t optimally work. Water aids in weight loss, oxygenates your blood and flushes toxins, helps in production of lymph, keeps your eyes and mouth clean, helps digest your food and treats common chronic ailments.


6. Probiotics

If you have taken antibiotics and/or had reoccurring sicknesses, your “good” bacteria in your body more than likely has been compromised and you will need to take probiotics to replace them. Probiotics play a critical role in your gut health. Research indicates that the bacterial colonies residing in your gut may play key roles in the development of cancer, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and even behavioral and emotional problems.

7. Meditate

Did you know that stress, both chronic and daily stress, can affect your immune system functioning and make you sick more often? Meditation is a holistic approach to strengthening the immune system, and scientific data prove the positive side effects of meditation on the mind and body. Meditation helps to boost antibodies, melts away stress, and stimulates immune system.

8. Garlic

Has anti-microbial properties that can help fight off certain bacteria and viruses. Cook with fresh garlic or add garlic powder to certain dishes to add to the aroma, taste and nutrition of your meals!


9. Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet! Eat organically grown mushrooms because they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in. They help with weight management, improved nutrition, increasing Vitamin D in your diet and improved immune function!

10. Laugh & Connect

If you’re feeling run down you may need some laughter and joy in your life. Connecting with a friend and laughing has some researches saying the laughter just might be the best medicine.

11. Sleep

Sleep deprivation and being overloaded with stress increases the hormone cortisol and eventually suppresses your immune system plus aids in weight gain. Getting enough shut eye is critical for your body to repair and heal. Aim for 7-8 hours a night.