Attack the Cold and Flu with These Remedies

Category: Health  

Cold and flu season has arrived, and it is taking its toll on many unsuspecting victims regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. This time comes every year, yet we are often unprepared and have done little to prevent catching these illnesses. This year can be different by taking a few simple steps to help prevent catching a cold or the flu, or at the very least, significantly reduce the amount of time you experience their symptoms.

A major way we can help prevent the cold and flu from hitting our homes can be through what we consume either through food, drink, or supplements. These three areas may have some effective options in helping boost our immune system and avoiding or reducing the cold and flu’s presence in our lives.*

Food as Prevention & Remedy

The food and nutrients we consume might have more of an impact on our health and overall wellness than we often realize or like to admit.* Science and simple life experience, both, continue to show Hippocrates was on to something when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food…” The Father of Modern Medicine knew it was possible to both treat and prevent illness through diet.

Chicken soup is likely the most well-known and widely used food to help mitigate cold and flu symptoms. The presence of cysteine, an amino acid, in chicken might be the key to chicken soup’s efficacy as a natural cold symptom remedy.* Cysteine can work by breaking up mucus, which may allow us to eliminate it from our bodies quicker and helps reduce congestion.* The amino acid may also have an antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which means viruses may pass more quickly and manage the pain from inflammation commonly present in these conditions.*

A diet low in zinc and iron might negatively impact your immune system and a healthy immune system is key to preventing illness.* Bulk up your diet with these nutrients by eating plenty of lean protein and whole grains. Foods like seeds, nuts, oats, eggs, and fish provide iron, zinc, and plenty of other beneficial nutrients for overall health.*

Drinks as Prevention & Remedy

Another common remedy during times of illness is hot tea. This cold and flu remedy is not just a comfort but can provide the body with necessary nutrients to improve healing. Hot teas contain polyphenols, plant compounds, which may act as antioxidants in the body when consumed. We know that antioxidants can work to help fight and prevent free radical damage and inflammation.* The combination of these two characteristics helps to reduce the amount of extent of cold and flu symptoms.*

Adding honey to hot tea adds a soothing factor for sore throats. Some of the most effective hot teas for treating or preventing the cold or flu include clove, ginger, peppermint, yarrow, and licorice. Peppermint or ginger can also be added as ingredients to other teas to boost its immune-supporting benefits. Orange juice can also be a go-to for preventing illness because of its high vitamin C content, just make sure you opt for a sugar version low in sugar.

Here is a tip! Try to get enough sleep for preventing cold the natural way.

Supplements as Prevention & Remedy

While food is the ideal way to take in nutrients, there are some supplements which can help reduce the occurrence of the cold and flu. There is a berry that doesn’t get as much attention for its health benefits as it should; Aronia Berry. This berry’s antioxidant and nutrient content might make it effective in helping prevent the onset of the cold and flu along with many other health benefits.*

Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting benefits and taking in enough through food isn’t always an option. Acerola is a tropical plant with a significant amount of vitamin C, which can aid in preventing the cold and flu by helping boost the immune system.* Probiotics might support a healthy gut and a healthy gut may be linked to a healthy immune system.* Begin taking a probiotic prior to cold and flu season as a way to build your immune system. As with any herbal remedy or supplement, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether it is right for you.

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk besides the fire: it is time for home", Edith Sitwell

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Final Thoughts

It may possible to fortify your health this year by making a few simple changes to your diet and health regimen. Reduce your likelihood of becoming sick with the cold or flu and prevent spreading the illness to others this year. Having a plan to get and stay well before illness strikes is easier than trying to get over illness while still maintaining your regular schedule and duties.