As we are in the heart of cold and flu season, I find myself wondering what additional precautions I can take to reduce my chances of becoming sick in the harsh winter months. While vaccines are readily available to help lower the chances of falling ill, diet alterations have a substantial impact on whether we get sick or not. A study done in 1966 by the Journal of American Medical Association published a cure for a group of children who were falling ill due to bronchitis, congestion, and common colds. What was this cure? The elimination of cow’s milk and other milk-based products. The reason for this is that milk is an emulsion that gets stickier when mixed with saliva components. This is not to say that you should eliminate milk altogether, but to make the switch to other sources of vitamin D and calcium when cold and flu season rolls around. There are also plant-based milks to switch to as well. Additionally, researchers then found that a group of children who switched to eating green leafy vegetables and other vegetables were 25-45% less likely to experience diarrhea, cough with fever, and measles. A lower rate of infection was also reported.
So, as we progress through Covid, the common cold, and flu season, there are a few actions we can take to reduce our chances of getting sick. Firstly, eating plenty of leafy and non-leafy vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Second, avoid dairy products, especially if you or a loved one suffer from chronic congestion regularly. Third, add the correct amount of sleep to your everyday lifestyle. Those who get 8 or more hours of sleep each night are three times less likely to get sick than those with 7 hours or less. Lastly, always avoid stress. Yoga, journaling, and therapy are all common ways to avoid stress and deal with it in a healthy way. All of these combined are effective and useful ways to stay healthy during the cold and flu season.