When it comes to taking care of your well-being, a holistic approach is key. In doing so, you to take into account all facets of your being. Time and time again, the benefits of holistic health speak for themselves: reduced stress, prevention of certain lifestyle diseases, a strong body, financial prosperity, happiness, and more. Wellness is all about a well-rounded approach. But, what happens when you feel under the weather? Rest is imperative. As is sleep. However, it’s often difficult to slow down with the demands of day-to-day life. Especially if you’re a parent. Don’t fret—there are plenty of easy, natural remedies for the common cold or flu. It’s often less about what’s stocked in your medicine cabinet and more about what’s in your fridge and pantry.
Tips to Prevent colds and the flu
The single best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated each year. However, preventative habits like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough, and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs. By this point, we’re no strangers to social distancing. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. When out and about, make sure to clean your hands, wear a mask if necessary, and try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
7 Natural Remedies For the Flu
Social distancing aside, let’s talk about natural remedies for the flu season. While there’s no cure for the flu, there are natural remedies that might ease typical flu symptoms. These remedies may also help shorten the time you have the flu. Keep in mind that because a cold (or the flu) is viral, the only cure is to give your body enough time to ward it off. Meaning, rest and nutrient-dense foods are so important.
All of that said, the shorter you have the flu (or can avoid it altogether!), the quicker you can get back to feeling happy and energized. Below are seven natural remedies to boost your immunity during the winter.
Water helps to keep your nose, mouth, and throat moist. This helps your body get rid of built-up mucus and phlegm. Avoid dehydration with filtered water, coconut water (look for no-added sugar, like this brand), or an immune-boosting tea. Furthermore, try electrolytes! Most of us are depleted of minerals, and electrolytes can help replenish our mineral stores. Proper mineral levels improve brain, muscle, and heart health.
No surprise here. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, studies show that ginger boosts your overall immunity. No wonder it’s often recommended to use ginger for the common cold. When you’re feeling under the weather (or are battling morning sickness or menstrual cramps), sipping on warm tea with lemon, honey, and ginger is extra soothing. The compound that is most responsible for ginger’s medicinal properties is gingerol. As the main bioactive compound, research indicates that gingerol may reduce oxidative stress, which is a result of having excess inflammation in the body. Because of its antibacterial qualities, ginger may be beneficial in managing the pain associated with certain diseases, like arthritis. Ginger can even lower the body’s blood sugar response too.
Stock up on bone broth
Because viruses usually thrive in cold temperatures, drinking a hot beverage, like broth, might help avert the seasonal flu. At lower temperatures, our bodies tend to produce fewer antiviral immune signals and leave us more susceptible to infections. That is why bone broth is so helpful. When possible, choose organic / pasture-raised bone broth. If you don’t consume animal products, opt for a low-sodium organic veggie broth. Warm a mug of veggie broth with ginger and lemon for a nourishing drink.
Increase your zinc
Zinc, an essential mineral, supports your immune system and helps your metabolism function. Zinc is also important for your sense of taste and smell. With a varied diet, most people get enough zinc. Food sources of zinc include chicken, red meat, chickpeas, nuts, and fortified cereals. This nutrient helps your body make germ-fighting white blood cells. It might help ease cold and flu symptoms. In essence, zinc helps your body fight the flu virus. Please consult your doctor before adding zinc to your supplement routine.
Eat the rainbow
Diet plays a major role in how quickly you can recover from the flu. Processed foods, sugar, conventional dairy, and caffeine can make your symptoms worse. Instead, stick with seasonal fruits and veggies, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. These are packed with nutrients and are easy to digest. Focus on balancing blood sugar while incorporating whole, minimally processed foods. Think: Mediterranean diet.
Kitchari is one of the best foods to eat when you’re sick, as it’s healing and easy on your digestive system. Additionally, consider foods like bananas (they can help curb diarrhea), vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers, and chili peppers, as they can open sinuses and break up mucus in the lungs. Last but not least, don’t forget about medicinal herbs.
Consider Beekeeper’s Naturals
Show your immune system some love with a daily dose of bee propolis. This all-star ingredient contains antioxidants and other immune-boosting compounds. Bee propolis has 300+ beneficial compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This throat spray has a permanent spot in our medicine cabinet.
Gargle sea salt
Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Gargle with half a teaspoon of salt, dissolved in 8-ounces of warm water. Do this four times, daily. To reduce the tick in your throat, try an astringent gargle. Otherwise, seep one tablespoon of lemon juice in two cups of water and mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.
Keep in mind that if your symptoms get worse, your fever persists longer than 24 hours, you can’t keep anything down (fluids or food), etc., time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. All of that said, traditional flu symptoms are actually a part of the natural healing process—evidence that your immune system is battling illness. Rest up and take care.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.