The headlines of the newspapers this week focus on the severity of the cold and flu season.  This leaves many of us wondering what we can do to either prevent the flu or shorten its duration once it has struck.  Of course there are the general recommendations... get plenty of sleep, wash your hands, and eat healthy foods.  A lack of sleep wears down our immune system, making us more susceptible to catching what is going around - as does not eating real food.  If we are loading up on sugars and non foods, we aren't getting the nutrients our immune systems need to function optimally.  There are numerous supplements that are beneficial to take as a preventative measure to support the immune system - probiotics, vitamin D, omega 3's, and a good whole vitamin are the staples of many supplement programs.  Probiotics are especially helpful because gut health plays a large role in immune strength.  Epsom salt baths and using a neti pot can also be helpful.  Managing stress is also very important in retaining health.  Take Care!  Shanna