Tis the Season

Seems as though the cold and flu season started a bit early this year with many coughs, sore throats, and even stomach upset.  All symptoms that many began to feel as early as September.  Colds and flu’s can be quite disruptive to our daily lives and understandably we try to avoid them at all costs.  We agree, with some minor modifications.  Our philosophy at Brio is that a quick cold, once a season, resolved within 24 hours is a great tune up for the body’s immune system; with a fever, even better!

The scare of cold-flu season is the threat of it lasting weeks or in some cases months; of it passing through members of the family; of losing many days off work; having to pull kids out of school and/or daycare.  There are countless reasons of how this season can be disruptive.  There are many ways to drastically minimize the impact of this season,  with the Brio Living Philosophy, prevention is essential, and starting before there is an issue is the real key to success.

Did you know…

Did you know the gut makes up 80% of our immune system!!  Therefore, keeping the gut healthy can dramatically decrease being susceptible to cold and flu’s, even if everyone else is sick around you.  It is very possible not to catch it and if it is caught, it is cleared within 12-24 hours.

Historically our digestive systems were rich in probiotic balance as were the foods we consume and the soil in which our food was grown.  Over the years with modernization of cooking techniques, the introduction of refrigeration, technology advancing farming and animal husbandry, and many more, there has been a change in available prebiotics and probiotics from the foods we consume

Milk kefir and grains in glass on wooden tablee soil and the foods we consume.  This has had a tremendous impact on our digestive health.  The digestion is considered by many the key to all ailments.  A healthy gut results in a healthy immune system.

There are billions of bacteria living in the intestinal tract, often referred to as “microflora.”  Probiotics are live, “friendly” bacteria in the microflora that work to keep the immune system strong and the body less susceptible to colds, flu’s, viruses and bacteria .  Treating the gut with high quality probiotics is an easy way to protect the gut and keeps the immune system running strong.

Why the sudden need for Probiotics?

There are a wide range of stressors that can affect the good bacteria in our gut.  There is an increase in antibiotic use or other medications; there is an increase in digestive issues; increase in stress levels; and poor diet.

Much of our food used to provide healthy probiotics and prebiotics and our food now is quite sterile.  As are our cooking techniques.  With the introduction of the refrigerator, food can remain without spoiling in the fridge.  We can then pull it out and if it is not heated on a stove it is heated via a microwave.

Prior to the refrigerator, foods had to be fermented and/or sprouted in order to stay shelf stable without spoiling.  Sprouted grains, pickled vegetables, all were ways to preserve food, without a refrigerator.  Fermented foods all contain healthy probiotics for our gut.  Historically, each traditional culture had some sort of fermented food consumed with each meal.  This offered as a digestive aid and probiotics protection for the digestive system.

In comes the invention of the refrigerator – and boom.  We no longer need to ferment foods.  Eliminating all that protection from these traditional foods.

Bring back fermented food!

My preference is always to get most of what we need from food sources and when more support is needed, supplements are very necessary.  Where do we get probiotics from?

  • We used to get a large amount of probiotics from soil!  Playing outside, hiking, gardening.
  • Bone broths are rich in probiotics and very healthy for the gut  (see link Dr. Lee’s recipe)
  • Traditional foods such as –
    • Kefir – a fermented milk product from Europe
    • Kimchi – a cultured cabbage from Korea
    • Miso – fermented soy beans from Japan
    • Achar – pickled lemons from India
    • Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage from Europe
    • Home-made yogurt – traditional cultured yogurt is high in probiotics
    • Apple Cider Vinegar – cultured vinegar add to water
    • Cheese, Kombucha, kvass, just to name a few!!
  • Purchasing non-medicated meat – in the United States it is reported that over 80% of antibiotics used are fed to farm animal.  If we eat meat – what they eat, we eat.  This affect our digestive system and our gut flora, therefore our immune system.

As you can see it is difficult to incorporate these foods as part of the norm, back into our modern day diet, which is why in this case I always recommend a high quailty probiotic.  We have chosen to carry the HMF line by Genestra and depending on your needs there are a variety of strengths available.

HMF forte – 1 cap 2x/day is a great maintenance dose.

HMF Intensive – 1 cap before bed.  This is just that, it is a high dose and very protective.  I take this one daily.


Probiotics is a buzz word in the health world currently; however, not all probiotics are created equal.  Probiotics absolutely should be part of a daily routine to keep your immune system running high 365 days a year!

Feel free to call Brio for more information and/or info sheets from Genestra, they are a great company with a lot of information.


Happy Fall everyone, In health, Dr. Neetu



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