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When you feel the weather, natural cold and flu remedies can support your body, help reduce symptoms and even shorten the duration of illness.
Taking care of your immune health is something you should pay attention to throughout the year. By taking care of the health of your gut, feeding yourself well, and practicing a healthy lifestyle, you can better prevent catching a cold or the flu.
With this in mind, there are ways you can support yourself when you feel these first signs of illness.
Natural cold and flu remedies to keep in mind when you are sick
Whether you feel like you have a cold or flu while reading this, or you are reading this to get ready, these are all simple tips you can use when you need them.
1. Whole foods are nutrient-dense
Mother Nature provides us with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so it is important to consume a variety of them daily, but especially when you are sick. When you feel the weather, you can also consider reducing the processed foods you eat to better support your body.
Aim for at least 5-6 servings of vegetables a day, but I challenge you to make 2 or 3 of those servings come from dark leafy greens. It might seem like a lot at first, so challenge yourself to add one extra serving per day ( Loose green smoothie Contains 3-4 servings of vegetables per cup!)
If you’re feeling nauseous, here are some of our favorite comfort-food-rich recipes to make you feel good inside out and easy to digest but also great sources of Vitamin C and Zinc!
2. Frequent meals
When we’re feeling the weather, sometimes our appetites or our stomachs don’t feel satisfied, so pay attention to your special needs.
Eating small, frequent meals can help support your appetite and digestion regularly.
Elderberry has been used for centuries as a traditional immune support and may help when you’re feeling the weather.
They provide your body with antioxidant support from vitamin C and anthocyanins. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin known to naturally strengthen the body’s defenses. Plus, cranberries naturally contain a high percentage of the flavonoids, anthocyanins.
If you do not already have elderberry syrup in your medicine cabinet, we recommend this Soothing elderberry syrup from other foods. It’s a delicious, antioxidant-rich drink made with Sambucus extract with their tongue, anti-inflammatory spices, cinnamon and cloves plus honey and is tested for quality and efficacy. Plus, it tastes delicious, is low in sugar, and contains no artificial ingredients or fillers.
Drinking water is often overlooked when the seasons get colder, we sweat less naturally, not hot, and we don’t eat much fresh, seasonal fruits (which are high in water), but our bodies require it just as much.
And herbal teas Simply saturated water An easy way to help you remember to drink more water.
Sleep is extremely important for the body to rebuild, restore and maintain a healthy immune system.
The reason is that immune function has been shown to be closely related to our sleep cycles, specifically our daily systems (1). For example, it is proven that sleep Reducing infection risks and even improving infection outcomes and vaccination responses (2).
The better we sleep, the stronger the immune system!
6. Hot tea, broth, or soup
Hot teas such as green tea, oolong tea, and red tea (sage) contain the most antioxidants and are very low in caffeine.
Think of antioxidants as energy sources that help prevent infections and diseases. Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can cause illness and disease when their amounts are elevated in the body.
Vegetable broths and stews are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These amazing ingredients help the body function naturally at its best! Plus, the soup is easy to make, and you can have easy leftovers to heat up, and you can enjoy eating it. try White Bean Soup With The Best Gravy Ever.
Move daily, even if it’s for a walk around your neighborhood or a great sweat session at the gym. Keeping your body moving helps keep your immune system healthy.
For example, single bouts of moderate exercise have been shown to “boost immunity”. It may reduce inflammation, as inflammation is usually associated with infection and disease (x).
Not to mention that sweating through the skin, which is one of our biggest detoxifying organs, is beneficial.
There are many spices that can support the immune system and can be easily added to the recipes that you prepare.
Turmeric has been used as a medicinal spice for centuries in Eastern culture and for good reason. It is incredibly rich in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown to help improve the immune system. Check out my favorite way to enjoy turmeric here, Turmeric milk.
Nutrient-rich foods that may help fight infections and bacteria include honey, raw garlic, coconut oil, berries, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, mustard, green tea, oolong tea, cranberries, and chili / hot pepper.
Once again, inflammation is a major cause of illness and disease, which makes these nutrient-dense foods a great addition to any diet. Unwanted bacteria, such as inflammation, can also lead to infection and disease.
Garlic, onion, honey, coconut oil and oregano / thyme oil contain beneficial properties such as antimicrobials, fungi and bacteria – these nutritional ingredients are great in the context of colds and flu.
Our mental and emotional health plays a major role in our physical health and our immune system.
Stress, especially chronic, long-term stress, can wreak havoc on the immune system over time. More specifically, it can lead to consistently high levels of the hormone cortisol. This is something we want to avoid because it can in turn weaken the anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system, which is what we have learned is vital for fighting infection and disease (4).).
Take the time to relax, recharge, and manage stress daily.
- Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Bvlgers Arch. 2012; 463 (1): 121-137. Doi: 10.1007 / s00424-011-1044-0
- Besidovsky L, Lang T, Hack M. Crosstalk between sleep and immunity in health and disease. Rev. Physiol. 2019 Jul 1; 99 (3): 1325–1380. Doi: 10.1152 / physrev.00010.2018. PMID: 30920354; PMCID: PMC6689741.
- Simpson RJ, Kunz H, Agha N, and Graff R. Exercise and regulation of immune function. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015; 135: 355-80. Doi: 10.1016 / bs.pmbts.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Sep 5 PMID: 26477922.
- Bae YS, Shin EC, Bae YS, Van Eden W. Editorial: Stress and Immunity. The immune front. 2019; 10: 245. Date of publication 2019 Feb 14.doi: 10.3389 / fimmu.2019.00245