Winter bugs are no match for this hero vitamin
The holiday season may be wrapping up, but another season is reaching its peak.
As those jingle bells and carolers quiet down, you'll start hearing a chorus of coughing, sniffling, and sneezing everywhere you go.
That means you could easily go from the most "wonderful" time of the year... to the WORST.
Because if you're on the older side, the flu could open the door to pneumonia, a nasty secondary infection that's likely to land you in the hospital -- or even make this holiday season your last.
We're not going to let that happen to you, though.
While there IS a pneumonia vaccine, it's really just a "shot" in the dark. It may not be effective for those 65 and over... and it could leave you with fever, swelling, and hives.
But according to a new study, there's a way to ward off pneumonia naturally -- and if seafood is part of your holiday traditions, you're going to love this.
It turns out that good ol' vitamin D -- which you can find plenty of in just one serving of salmon, mackerel, or sardines -- can slash your risk of pneumonia!
And if you do catch the bug, vitamin D can reduce the severity of your infection.
In the study out of Iran, researchers compared the vitamin D levels of about 75 pneumonia patients to those of about the same number of healthy folks.
It turned out that the participants who were deficient in vitamin D were nearly FOUR TIMES more likely to have pneumonia!
And the more deficient those pneumonia patients were, the more SEVERE their infections.
Not only that, but those who greatly lacked vitamin D also tended to have higher risk of admission to the ICU... longer hospital stays... and even greater risk of DYING within 30 days than those patients who were least deficient.
The theory is that vitamin D boosts your immune system AND reduces inflammation in your airways, upping your body's chances of defeating pneumonia.
So, instead of relying on a faulty shot, give your body the hero vitamin it needs to defend itself.
Your body naturally produces vitamin D when the sun's UV rays hit your skin -- but if cloudy skies and cold temperatures have kept you indoors lately, you're probably not getting enough of this vital "sunshine" vitamin.
To replenish your stores, load up on D-rich foods like fish -- but make sure you choose wild-caught varieties, as they'll contain exponentially more vitamin D (and other nutrients) than their farm-raised counterparts.
If fish isn't your thing, you can also get vitamin D from beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms -- although in much smaller quantities.
To be on the safe side, I also recommend taking a high-quality supplement of vitamin D --specifically the natural vitamin D3 and not the synthetic D2.
You can find it at your local health food store, pharmacy, or online for just pennies a day.