Fend off colds—and the flu—by avoiding this common Christmas poison

Have you ever wondered why flu season always starts to pick up steam in December?

Conventional wisdom might tell you it’s because we’re all crammed indoors swapping germs during the winter months.

And while there’s something to be said about the risks of close quarters, I’ve always believed there’s another, stealth culprit at work this time of year.

And I could sum it up by listing out some people’s favorite holiday staples: Christmas cookies, eggnog, candy canes, hot chocolate… You get the picture.

All of these popular cold weather confections have one major thing in common—they’re all loaded with sugar. Which means that, like it or not, the Kleenex-lined path to your sickbed is paved with them.

Sugar kills.

I’ve said it over and over again—usually in reference to its role in our country’s lethal diabesity epidemic.

But the truth is, sugar chips away at your health in a variety of small, mundane ways. And one of those ways is through the simple erosion of your immune system.

For one thing, sugar isn’t just empty calories. It’s actually an “anti-nutrient.” In other words, sugar steals nutrients from your body as you digest it.

So it’s no wonder research shows that just one teaspoon of sugar can suppress the immune system by 56 percent—and two teaspoons by a whopping 84 percent.

And guess what?

The average American inhales a jaw-dropping 33 teaspoons each and every day. And that’s not during holiday season.

So just imagine how much you’re taking in with the endless stream of cookies and peppermint bark most people are surrounded by right now.

Look, I’m not trying to be a Scrooge here. But vigilant handwashing and extra vitamin D won’t reverse the effects of a month-long sugar binge.

Here’s the No.1 thing to remember this holiday season: Pass on the plum pudding, and save your enthusiasm for the roast instead.

After you nix the sugar, protect your body’s immune defenses by getting plenty of key nutrients. I outline plenty of ways to bolster your immune system in the February 2016 Reality Health Check e-letter (“Why that immune booster is the LAST thing you should take this winter.”)

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