Do you want to stay healthier this cold and flu season? Over-the-counter medications can help, but most merely suppress symptoms instead of helping you heal. While there are no magic cures for the common cold, you can combine preventative measures and natural remedies to help you kick your bug faster.
We’ve compiled lists of preventative measures and natural remedies that will keep you healthy this winter.
Preventative measures to protect yourself from cold and flu viruses:
Don’t touch your face
Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep your hands away to help protect you from illness.
Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands frequently, for at least 30 seconds, to remove bacteria and viruses.
Staying hydrated will keep your immune system working properly.
Regular exercise at moderate intensity levels helps the body fight stress and boosts your immune system. A brisk walk or raking leaves counts, too!
Get enough sleep
Your immune system doesn’t work properly if you are exhausted. Get your rest so your body is ready to fight off that pesky virus.
Eat the rainbow
Fruits and vegetables that are dark green, red, purple, and yellow are filled with phytochemicals. “Phyto” means plants, and the natural chemicals in them provide a supercharged boost.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excess body fat promotes the production of inflammatory immune cells that predispose us to illness, disease and weaken the immune system’s response to infections. Our Precison CalPal Digital Bathroom Scale helps you achieve your ideal weight.
Alcohol suppresses the part of the immune system that protects you catching a virus. It also inhibits the immune system from fighting a bug that you already have. Stick to one or two drinks to decrease your chances of getting sick.
Take your vitamins
The important ones are D, C, and zinc. Optimizing Vitamin D levels can help prevent illness and will ease symptoms when you get sick. Take extra Vitamin C to help your body get rid of a cold faster. Zinc can prevent viruses from gaining full access to our cells and shorten the length of a cold or flu. In order for zinc to work properly, it needs to be taken within 24 hours of when symptoms first appear.
Even with a healthy lifestyle, you may still find yourself with the sniffles or flu symptoms. The following remedies can help boost your immune system and decrease the duration and intensity of your illness.
Natural home remedies to fight the flu and cold symptoms:
Salt water gargle
When your throat starts to feel scratchy, mix 1 tsp of salt in a full glass of water and gargle. The salt reduces inflammation and clears irritants from the back of the throat.
Oregano oil is a potent natural antibiotic and antiviral. You can diffuse the oil or dilute a bit in almond oil and rub it on your feet.
Take a detox bath
A bath with 1 cup Epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil can soothe the body, balance depleted electrolytes, and helps cleanse toxins from the body.
Natural food remedies to fight the flu and colds:
Add in garlic and onions
Garlic and onions contain the compound Allicin, which can fight off certain bacteria and viruses. Adding this compound to your daily diet helps block infections and helps you heal faster.
Eat your chicken soup
It’s a proven remedy that will help clear congestion, sooth a sore throat, add vitamins and nutrients to boost your immune system, and is easy on an upset stomach.
Make ginger tea
Ginger is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and a potent cold virus fighter. Slice up some ginger and let it steep in very hot water for five to ten minutes to create a soothing drink which also helps quell nausea.
The spice turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties however it also possesses strong antiviral properties to help fight off the flu. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a cup of warm milk or try this tea recipe.
What’s your “go-to” remedy for fighting colds and the flu? Please share with us @eatsmartscales.