Avoiding Holiday Season Illnesses

Dr. Vincent Pedre discusses how to stay healthy these holidays.
7:19 | 11/22/11

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Transcript for Avoiding Holiday Season Illnesses
The holidays are upon us and that means we all have a lot more on -- to do list when we combine the stress of trying to find the best gift for everyone on our list. With a host of parties and -- that to the handshakes the hugs and kisses we can really be setting ourselves up for a holiday season with the sniffles or perhaps. Works so how can we stay healthy to enjoy all the season has to offer. Help -- answer that is doctor Vincent had Perrier in integrative physician and medical director of -- very. Integrated health doctor Patrick thanks so much for being here that he so we really want to enjoy the holiday season we want to be at our. That's going to be healthy we want to be strong but there are some forces that are conspiring against -- this time -- here so. Tell us how can we you know put our best foot forward. Well we can start by eating healthy are remembering to get. -- fruits and that's bulls. Two thirds of Americans are not getting -- nine daily servings of fruit than taxables that they need in the antioxidants. And. The properties in these foods help boost your immune systems you can ward off. Infections colds and flu. Easier and here we have should Taki mushrooms which -- an immune booster and you can take some of these ingredients like ginger -- talking must remind me greats who. Now these are your top picks when it comes to -- and vegetables or you would say just any this is -- -- geezer sampling and areas are very high in antioxidants think about eating the rainbow of colors. And you'll be getting a broad mix types of fruits and vegetables that you need and ideally organic because organic is gonna have more anti -- honor and do you think that people this time of year especially sort of taper off on their fruit and vegetable consumption as the weather gets colder I think -- and and and it's a great time you know that you can. Get this back into your diet by making -- now getting cold now you can bestow. Everything -- -- -- -- super immunities fantastic now what -- what about exercise how important is that to keeping our immunity from well if you're exercising regularly your immune system is going to be more charged up in view exercise excessively. It actually suppresses your immune systems -- you going to have a balanced. This time of year what happens. Holiday planning. Party's right. Exercise goes out the windows if you put that back into your list of things to do at least maybe you'll get there a few times a week or once a week and that's better than -- And with all of those parties that you just mentioned we often sacrificed sleep. What we're still working well quite happy holiday parties and you say that that's -- -- -- we need to put aside the time to rest proper. -- mean holidays is a time to spend time with your family but it's also time to recharge. Take advantage of the break get some rest there's nothing better than a good night's rest and rebooting your immune system. If you feel like you're getting a tickling your throat are coming down with something the best thing you can do is get a good night's rest. That is very very good advice I want to get back quickly to the diet just. Briefly this is also a time of year when everywhere we look at holiday cookies little sleep so things treat ourselves -- police about excessive sugar comes at a. Price yes. Too -- sugar. Actually inhibits your white blood cells. So they can't do what they normally do and -- actually almost become toxic for six hours after you have. Something that's really high in sugar if you're eating a lot of sugar all the time so although office parties and cookies and chocolate. That's gonna suppress -- immune system make it easier for buyers come in and take home so moderation is okay pick up one point -- the day when you'll have a slightly I think you always have to let yourself. She a little bit yeah otherwise you you and you'll be good for awhile and then and then you might binge. -- so. That it's better to let yourself have a little bit right but try to keep it in moderation now one thing you don't have to keep in moderation is the amount of water you drink right you can absolutely not -- -- everybody is traveling for the holidays and we know that when -- on an airplane you get dehydrated. You really have to think about hydration now with -- the winter. Many reasons that you get dehydrated and that makes your mucous membranes more prone to getting an infection. Right and of course and it goes without saying don't smoke. But if you're a smoker are all of this accident traffic and not well. It's a good time to you know the new -- is coming maybe not during the holidays but think about setting a quit date a -- quit date -- if you're a smoker you're more likely to suffer from complications. If you have the flu. It's more likely to become a bacterial super infection now that you mention setting goals and a lot of people are going to at the end of the year -- -- -- of losing -- if you say. Think about setting that goal a little earlier. -- about maybe starting lose the weight before the holiday. And there actually was a study that just came out and international journal obesity. And showed that people who are obese. Do not respond as well to the flu vaccine as. Healthy weight adults and so you -- even if you're getting a flu vaccine. You're not getting the full protection from the vaccine -- -- body mass index is greater than thirty here in that obese category and we know that. It's winter and dangerous 13 of Americans are obese -- -- 200 million people. So it's a good time I'm -- striking about you actually become more responsive to the flu vaccine and you're less likely to suffer from complications from. Now what about the simple things like washing our hands and knees and hands sanitized there. Yet extremely important you don't want to over kill. You definitely want to wash your hands frequently especially if you're touching surfaces that other people have touched and using a hands sanitized there. Actually kills 99% of bacteria and viruses. When you're washing your hands with so you have to watch them as long as it would take you sing happy birthday. That's -- I think that's good and I -- tell my my children -- and finally we are under a lot of stress this holiday season but you say it's important to manage that keep them under control. Absolutely. Seeming to manage your stress by doing healthy activities like yoga meditation. Because they could drag their itself and it gives our immune system where it's at Toys 'R' Us -- easier it's adding that a lot of people over extend themselves during the holidays and there's also certain supplements that you can take. They can help your body be more resistant what did I stressed that meant so there's vitamin. And that makes your immune system more susceptible to infection -- vitamin. Zinc is also rated actually there's some studies sentencing -- shorten the duration of. A cold. And you can start taking an at the first sign of symptoms and zinc lozenge once -- -- -- twice today. There's also black elder Berry which I use as a preventive in my practice and you can take that daily -- -- give it to your children and it doesn't take that before you feel any symptoms does that help alleviate the symptoms once you -- some. If you have symptoms it's a good idea if you have flu like symptoms. There's a product called -- in the coaxing them which is a homeopathic remedy -- -- at the very early on sent. A flu like symptoms it has been proven to shorten the duration of the symptoms. After that I thank you so much promise grated thank --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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