Cold & Flu Season is Upon Us – Be Proactive with Pathway OME

Q & A with CIO and Dr. Michael Nova

Written by Paris Wilson

Whether you have gotten sick already or not, this interview with Dr. Michael Nova will be very helpful in recovering or avoiding the cold and flu this season.

Q: By only taking Vitamin C, am I safe from getting sick?

Some studies show that vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold by as much as 24 to 36 hours. However, there is no evidence that taking Vit C can prevent you from getting sick.

Q: What are the best vitamins to take to avoid getting sick?

  1. Echinacea – Although some studies do not show that echinacea works as a treatment, others show it can reduce the length and severity of colds by 10% to 30%. Despite the confusion, many experts are fairly sure that echinacea can help treat colds.
  2. Zinc – Taking zinc, either as a syrup or lozenge, through the first few days of a cold may shorten the misery of an upper respiratory infection, the latest research shows. The research — a review of 15 past studies on the subject — also found that zinc appeared to prevent colds in people who used it over the course of about five months.
  3. Elderberry – There’s some promising evidence that elderberry might help treat the flu, Elderberry appears to boost the production of some immune cells and may also help block a virus’s ability to spread. One study shows that taking 4 tablespoons a day for three days of a specific formulation of elderberry extract — Sambucol — appears to shorten the symptoms of flu by 56%. 
  4. Garlic – Garlic may also help fight viruses. Also, there is some preliminary evidence that garlic may lower the risk of catching a cold.
  5. Andrographis – “Andrographis is called ‘Indian echinacea, studies of andrographis show that it appears to improve cold symptoms significantly, at least when started within three days of the onset. There’s also some early evidence that it may reduce the chances of catching a cold, at least when taken for several months beforehand. Most studies have used a specific product called Kan Jang, which combines andrographis with Siberian ginseng (eleutherococcus senticosus).

Q: Do I have to get the flu shot if I take vitamins daily?

Yes. Nowadays, an annual flu vaccine is recommended for most children and adults. It’s highly effective and contrary to what you may have heard, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It can save you and your family a lot of misery.

Q: If I eat properly, do I still need to take vitamins daily?

All the studies around vitamins that have shown effects on flu/colds have been done with supplements. So, while eating a good diet is important, it’s probably not a bad idea to take certain supplements as well.

Every body is different and DNA will play a large role in what nutrients and vitamins your body will run best on. If you aren’t sure, we offer a great tool to keep your body and immune system in top gear for cold and flu season- our Nutrition iQ DNA kits. This kit will test over 65 genetic markers to discover Eating Behaviors, Food Reactions, Nutritional needs, and even the type of diet that is best for you.

Why all the Buzz around Pumpkins and Spice every Fall?

Q & A with registered dietitian, Chandler Ray

Are you one of the first in line to get your pumpkin spice latte every year when they roll out for Fall? Yes, they may be delicious, but will your body thank you after drinking it? Most likely not. You may hate to hear it, but there is zero amount of real pumpkin in your lattes. This isn’t just true with the lattes you’re drinking either. Most other seasonal pumpkin flavored treats we like to indulge in during this time of year, don’t either. The reality is that it is mostly all sugar, so there’s very little nutritional benefits. On average, a medium pumpkin latte has 50g of sugar… dear gourd! However, adding pumpkin into your diet isn’t a bad thing at all, if it is actually real pumpkin puree.

We interviewed registered dietitian, Chandler Ray from our team on the benefits of pumpkin and how we can add it in our daily meal plans. She may have even told us her favorite pumpkin recipe too!

What are the nutritional benefits of adding pumpkin into your diet?

Pumpkins are nutrient-dense and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are particularly high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid and antioxidant that helps protect our cells from free radical damage. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body, which plays a key role in skin, vision, immune system, and bone health. They are also a great source of dietary fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer, promotes healthy digestion, and can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

What are some easy ways of adding pumpkin into your daily meal plan that we can all do?

You can stir pumpkin into plain yogurt or mix it into oatmeal. You can even roast pumpkin in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, great for a sweet tooth too! It is also so easy to simply add it to a smoothie and blend.

What is your favorite way to add pumpkin into your diet?

I love adding pumpkin to overnight oats when I’m taking breakfast on the go! To make 1 serving combine ½ cup rolled oats, ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk), ½ cup pure pumpkin puree, a dash of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix all the ingredients together in a mason jar or sealable container and store in the refrigerator overnight covered. In the morning, I’ll usually top it with a drizzle of almond butter and some fresh fruit.

If you can’t let go of that PSL, check out this delicious and healthy alternative from POPSUGAR fitness. What are some of your favorite healthy alternatives to add pumpkin into a meal? We would love to hear- comment below!

Avert the Inevitable this Holiday Season

Let’s face it, the holidays are a time for celebration, and with celebration comes many opportunities to indulge in mouthwatering food. In fact, about 75 percent of Americans’ yearly weight gain occurs during the holidays. One study conducted over a year span showed a weight increase of 0.7% in the participants between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. If the average weight of an American woman is about 166 pounds that would be over 11 pounds of weight gain, which is significant.

Is Sugar Free, Care Free?

A study conducted among adults over a 5-year span proved daily consumption of “diet beverages” increased their risk for type 2 diabetes by 67%.

For a long time artificial sweeteners seemed like the answer for effective weight loss and anyone with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), due to their lower calorie content. However, research is telling us they may do more damage than good for various reasons.

Is Diabetes in Your Genes?

The global prevalence of diabetes has increased from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014 which is concerning. Across the U.S population 1.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common, which is when your blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. Diabetes is a chronic disease related to insulin resistance where eventually your pancreas isn’t able to keep up in making enough insulin to sustain your blood sugar at normal levels.