Cold and flu season is approaching, but don’t fret, there are lots of natural ways to stay healthy this year. The sooner you nip that sniffle in the butt the better. Here are 5 simple things you an the family can do to prevent the cold and flu season getting the best of you!
Ever notice how after a long weekend of debauchery with your friends you get sick. The reason for this is we use sleep to for repair. When we deprive ourselves of that vital restorative time, our immune system can get tired and we fall sick easily. If you feel yourself starting to get sick the best thing you can do is go to bed early and get a good 8-10hrs of sleep.
2. Garlic. Garlic is nature’s anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and immune booster! But make note: to get the most of garlic’s natural healing properties you need to prepare it properly. Chop up about 2 cloves of garlic, let sit for 5 minutes, this activates the allicin or medicinal constituent in garlic, then enjoy it raw or mostly raw. I like to sprinkle the raw garlic on a piece of toast with olive oil and salt. Enjoy this immune boosting garlic bread, when you first feel a cold or flu coming on to prevent it from taking hold. Or once you are sick have up to 4-5 cloves per day, but don’t over do it if you are on blood thinners like warfarin.
3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. It has also been shown to boost the immune system to so you have a fighting chance!
It’s good to take a maintenance dose of vitamin C throughout the cold and flu season, about 500-1000mg per day for an adult. Or 1000-2000mg if you need a boost while you’re sick. Chose a vitamin C derived from a whole food source, with an equal amount of citrus bioflavonoids to citric acid, and one without a bunch of fillers and binders.
4. Echinacea. Echinacea is an immune booster and has been shown to be especially helpful in prevention of upper respiratory tract infections (ie. Bronchitis). You will benefit most from echinacea if you use it as soon as you feel that tickle in your throat or upon the first sign of impending flu doom! Echinacea comes in three popular forms: E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida. When choosing your liquid tincture of echinacea chose one with a mix of E. purpura whole plant, and E. angustifolia and E. pallida root for the best immune boosting effects. Echinacea is best taken short term (12 days or less) and at the onset symptoms.
5. Avoid sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system and will not serve you if you are trying to fight off the cold and flu. This includes ingredients in many cold and flu medications on the market. Read ingredients and be picky about what you choose to nourish your body with.
Good health to you and your family this season!