Cold and flu season is officially here, which means doctors' offices are packed, schools are infested with all types of germs and sick employees are taking a toll on workplaces. On top of missing out on work, school and fun social outings, having the flu can take you (and your entire family) out for more than a week, which is no way to spend the holiday season.

Here are some facts you may find interesting about the flu:

  • Flu season runs from as early as October to as late as March.
  • Flu symptoms consist of fever, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle and body aches.
  • 200,000 people are hospitalized each year because of the flu.
  • Children under 4, pregnant women and adults 50+ are at higher risk of getting the flu.
  • In 2015, the flu vaccine was only 18% effective.

So what can you do to make sure you're not a statistic this year? Simply put, be proactive about your health and beef up your immune system naturally.

Here are a few natural ways to boost your immune system and prevent the flu without getting the flu shot:

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels to 50-70 ng/ml. Daily supplementation of vitamin D-3 helps increase your overall vitamin D levels in your blood. Take 2,000-5,000 IU daily, or as recommended by your healthcare provider, to optimize your vitamin D levels.
  • Eliminate toxic and processed foods, sugars and grains from your diet. The ingredients found in these food categories contain a host of toxins, which bombard your immune system and bog it down, causing it to not function optimally. This flu season, stick with lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 
  • Exercise regularly to sweat out toxins. It may be cold out, but that doesn't mean you can't get out there and break a sweat. The toxins released in perspiration help detoxify your body of chemicals and toxins found in the foods we eat and the air we breathe so the more you can sweat, the more toxins you'll be releasing.
  • Get your gut healthy with probiotics. They say that the health of your immune system relies on the health of your gut so it is crucial to keep your gut healthy at all times. Probiotic Blend is a proprietary combination of probiotics that help maintain healthy gut flora and decrease toxins and yeast from taking over. Take 1-2 capsules daily in order to keep a healthy gut and immune system.
  • Wash your hands frequently. This is one of the most basic (and most forgotten) ways to prevent sickness. Besides before eating and after using the restroom, you should wash your hands throughout the day to keep from transporting germs from one place to another (for example, your office to your home). Coconut oil can be used as a topical skin moisturizer that also happens to contain anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, which means it can ward off germs, too!
  • Get adequate sleep and control stress. Yet another basic principle but lack of sleep and too much stress puts your immune system at risk. With it being such a busy time of year, be sure to take a little time to yourself. If that means sneaking in a power nap at lunch time, by all means, we encourage you to oblige. If you're having a hard time falling and staying asleep, natural minerals and herbs found in Dr. Hotze's Sleep Formula may be your quick solution. Take 1 capsule 30 minutes before bedtime to enjoy a full night's rest without feeling groggy the next morning.
  • Use natural immune boosters, such as vitamin C, colostrum, garlic, and zinc. If these 4 supplements aren't a part of your vitamin regimen, you may want to rethink that. The combination of these not only help boost your immune system, but they also help keep your gut healthy and may ease allergy symptoms that are commonly experienced during this time of year. 

Remember, if you're not proactively boosting your immune system, something else is bogging it down. Use these helpful tips to stay on top of your health this winter season.