Why do Colds and Flu Increase During Winter
Every winter there’s an increase in the number of people who get viral diseases like colds and flu. The number of cases typically starts rising in early December, peaks in January and February, and then drops back off in March. Why is this so?
In the past people ascribed these illnesses to being exposed to cold weather. That’s why these viral infections are often called colds. Even today some people think that getting cold will cause them to catch a cold, but it really isn’t cold weather that creates the cold and flu season.
Today we view these diseases as being caused by exposure to viruses. However, there aren’t more viruses in the wintertime than there are at others time of the year. Viruses, like bacteria and fungi, are always present in the environment. So, cold and flu season occurs because something happens during these winter months that makes people more susceptible to infection, In other words, something reduces the effectiveness of their immune system.
The cold and flu season appears to be associated with seasonal variation in nutrition, that is, people have lower levels of important nutrients necessary for immune function. The primary nutrients that appear to be involved are vitamin D3 and vitamin C. Many people experience lower levels of these nutrients during the winter and both are necessary to ward off viral disease.
So, it’s possible that taking these and other immune-boosting nutrients and herbs during the winter months will help you avoid the cold and flu season entirely. In fact, these same supplements can fortify your body against viral infections all year long. In this issue of Sunshine Sharing, learn what may be going on to reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. You can also check out some supplements that can offer support.
Focus on Building Health Year Round
What we eat, drink and think affects our immune system. Make sure you are feeding your body what it needs to be its best. Below are some tips to help you maintain a healthy immune system. If you need help, consider joining our 13 Week Healthy Habits Email Program.
- Eat whole foods and grains.
- Eat healthy fats.
- Drink and shower in clean water.
- Stay active.
- Limit your environmental toxicity.
- Manage your stress.
- Surround yourself with people who are in it to win it with you!