As temperatures take a drastic dip, it’s often the same case with our immunity. More noticeable amounts of hacking and sniffly noses seem to be creeping up, and unfortunately wearing a protective surgical mask is a source of social alienation.
With type 1 diabetes, our immune system is already suppressed so holistic preventative measures are a big yes for me (sometimes bordering on compulsion). I’ve also learned that a little goes a long way!
Here’s what I like to keep in my seasonal cold/flu warrior kit:
Oil of Oregano: This is my weapon of choice at the onset of a sore throat/cough/congestion. The potent tincture smells awful, and tastes even worse. I try to envision pizza as my mouth is on fire. It’s not a budget-pleaser either but just a few droplets will do the trick. You can dilute the drops in water, however I prefer to save time and wield the most power when attacking bugs.
Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants, green tea is a killer way to clear out free radicals. Matcha green tea powder also helps regulate blood sugars. Woohoo!
Vitamin C: If you fill your diet with plenty of citrus fruits and leafy greens, then your vitamin C intake is likely covered. If not, it doesn’t hurt to amp it up with supplements. After all, C is a water-soluble vitamin so any excess will leave your body when nature calls. Most of us probably get more than we need in a day, so scurvy shouldn’t be an issue.
Vitamin D: In addition to maintaining healthy bones and pearly whites, Vitamin D is also an immune booster. Unlike Vitamin C, this one’s harder to absorb – particularly if 15-20 minutes of UVB rays are nowhere to be found. Luckily, we have multiple D supplements to choose from! Vitamin D2 is the plant-derived, vegan form whereas D3 (the more potent form) is supposedly made from lamb’s wool and/or pig hide. I find Ddrops are ideal for easy intake, and much less of an assault on the tongue than feisty oregano.
Zinc: This cold-busting micro-mineral has been shown to bolster the immune system and balance blood sugars, so I try to keep a running supply. Sweetened with Stevia extract, Quantum Health‘s zinc-elderberry & echinacea remedies are my go-to’s.
Soap: More studies are proving that antibacterial soap can actually make you more prone to catching the flu, especially if your hands or finger tabs are already dry and cracked (the bane of a diabetic finger pricker’s existence). So best to use some good old fashioned soap and water, or at the very least soak up some moisturizer post hand-washing.
Soup: When time and energy are in short supply, one of the best veggie alternatives to chicken noodle soup is Happy Planet’s fresh Thai Coconut Soup (only 4 grams of sugar per serving). Coconut milk has an abundance of awesome qualities such as lauric acid, which transforms into an antiviral/antibacterial secret agent in your body.
Happy immune boosting season!