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How to beat the winter cold and flu

How is best to approach nutrition when knocked down by winter colds/flu’s? – Hannah Heath

It seems like every second person in winter gets a man-flu, women-flu or a bird-flu.

I seldom get ‘the flu’ or get ‘sick’ and usually if I am a bit run down it takes me about 1 to 3 days to resolve it.

So here are my top tips for beating the winter cold!

1.    Stop expecting that you’re going to get a winter cold

Everyone has heard of a ‘placebo’ effect. Well there is also something called the nocebo effect. Nocebo effect is basically expecting something bad to happen. This is why I also never get jet-lag.

cold and flus

2.    Monitor your vitamin D

Vitamin D is more like a hormone than a vitamin and having optimal D levels will improve your immune system. Fortunately the Australian medical system includes vitamin D testing as part of a routine test (so long as you ask for it). Standard range is 80 to 120. High end of normal is where you want to be.

Personally, I like my levels to be at around 150 international units. But that’s just me.

3.    Don’t live like its summer

There is a season for growing and a season for reaping. Winter is the season for growing. In other words, in winter, sleep more, party less. Don’t stay out all night drinking tropical cocktails. Save your topical fruit and late nights for summer when the sun is up for longer.

4.    Act like you go to bed with a new person every night 

Just because it’s not swimsuit season doesn’t mean you should let yourself go and eat ice cream on weekdays while watching Master Chef. Some people believe winter is time for ‘bulking’. Well if you believe that, you will increase your resistance to insulin, making it harder to get leaner. Additionally, adding in ‘winter foods’ because you don’t think any one will see you naked normally means adding in foods that affect your immune system. These include white sugar, gluten, soy, commercial dairy and wheat. Yep, pretty much anything that comes in a packet.

I talk a lot about the immune system as it relates to food in my 3 day internship program.

5. Supplement

Supplements that I frequently use that support the immune system are:

  • Glutamine
  • Vitamin C
  • Wellness Greens (or equivalent product)
  • Vitamin D
  • Amino Complex by Thorne
  • Zinc

Without going into a whole long rant about each one(I would be here for hours and lets face it, not everybody cares), in one-way or another these all help the immune system (amongst other things).

You can easily make a shake out of the glutamine, vitamin C and Amino Complex. And yes, we do stock all of these at Enterprise, email [email protected]

6.    Hug loved ones frequently 

Apparently showing affection to loved ones helps keep the immune system strong. So show love every chance you get.

Literally as I am writing this I’m holding my 6 week old son.


Mark Ottobre

Owner and Director Enterprise Fitness

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Enterprise Fitness – Data collection and privacy policy
Thank you for visiting Enterprise Fitness, located in Richmond, Victoria.
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381 Swan Street
Richmond Victoria 3121

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