Holiday season can wreak havoc on our immune systems. From stress, to eating and drinking things we don’t normally consume (and perhaps more than we normally would), to sleepless nights, and just plain exhaustion. These are all contributing factors to knocking down our immune systems and preventative care is the key to steer clear of illness.

Making sure we have excellent health every day can be as easy as taking a probiotic supplement every day. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that outnumber our human cells 10 to 1!

Probiotics Offer Three Levels of Immunity

Level 1: While the virus is still in your intestinal tract, good bacteria surround and neutralize the virus.
Level 2: The good bacteria form a barrier along your intestinal lining to prevent the virus from passing through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream.
Level 3: If the virus gets past levels one and two, the friendly bacteria actually communicate with your body to produce substances that neutralize the virus before it causes damage.

Supplementing with probiotics is a guaranteed way of knowing you’re getting the friendly bacteria your digestive system needs. Probiotic supplements contain high doses of multiple strains of bacteria and clearly list the specific strains on the label. Each capsule of Ultimate Flora Critical Care has 50 billion friendly bacteria comprised of 10 different strains that are prevalent in our digestive tracts. It is 50 times more potent than a serving of yogurt and guaranteed until date of expiry. On top of that, the capsules are enteric coated to protect the probiotics through the harsh environment of the stomach so the probiotics get to where they need to go. It is a much easier way to get your probiotics and lighter on the wallet compared to 50 servings of yogurt a day! Think of it as a multivitamin for your gut.

Renew Life recognizes that different people have different probiotic needs. They have formulas for the whole family, including Flora Baby which can be taken from birth all the way up to Ultra Potent for those times you need to break down and take antibiotics. Ask in store for details about which Renew Life probiotic product is right for you.

If you do end up getting sick, go to your local health food store and look for natural remedies like astragalus, elderberry, echinacea, oregano oil, goldenseal or natural anti-viral tinctures. A health food store employee is a wealth of knowledge and can help you find what’s best for you.

Other Ways to Support Immunity
• Wash your hands regularly
• Get plenty of sleep
• Drink lots of water
• Eat a healthy diet of whole foods like fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds and lean meats. (A diet based on whole foods delivers the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs)
• Avoid processed foods and sugar (sugar in any form quickly suppresses the immune system by paralyzing white blood cells)
• Supplement with a good multivitamin
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Quit smoking
• Reduce and manage stress through activities such as walking, deep breathing, yoga and meditation

Last but not least, here are some healthy juice recipes to rev up your immune system. It is best to use fresh organic produce as much as possible:
1. Flu Fighting Green Juice – Kale, Ginger, Lemon, Celery and Cucumber
2. Detoxifying Elixir – Beets, Ginger, Apples and Raspberries
3. Vitamin C Monster – Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon or Lime
4. Get to the “Root” of It – Carrots, Beets, Ginger and Lemon
5. Green Powerhouse – Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Carrots and Lemon

Keeping healthy is all about being proactive and these tips can help you stay on track as you survive another cold and flu season.

By Caroline Farquhar RHN, BA, EMP