5 Natural Ways to Stay Healthy Through Cold and Flu Season
Cold and flu season has arrived. With every sneeze, cough and sniffle I hear, I hold my breath, cringe a little, and hope I didn’t breathe in any germs. Then I remind myself that I work hard to remain healthy with several natural health remedies. There are many ways help maintain good health and wellness throughout this season and I thought I’d share my favorites with you here.
Adding these natural elements to stay healthy are best alongside general wellness practices that keep your body and mind in a state of good health and balance. These wellness practices include getting enough rest, exercising, self-care, balanced nutrition and relaxation. Of course, it’s ideal to wash your hands regularly throughout this season too!
When you offer yourself these wellness practices in conjunction with added natural health elements, you can increase your chances of remaining healthy all season long. Keeping your immune system in top notch condition and getting rid of viruses and bacteria that cause the illnesses in the first place will surely help you survive this season! These are all suggestions, listen to your own body and you may choose to talk with your healthcare provider before implementing any of these options.
Garlic is simple to integrate, inexpensive and can be a game-changer when it comes to staying healthy. It has both antiviral and antibacterial properties along with a host of nutrients to help keep you vital and healthy. Add fresh chopped garlic to soups, stir frys, salsas and guacamoles. You can also add fresh garlic to salad dressings and marinades. It tastes delicious raw and cooked!
If you feel like you may be catching a cold or if you have been exposed to someone who has a cold, you can crush and finely chop a clove of garlic, mix it with a dash of lemon or lime juice and some filtered warm water and drink it down! This will help rid your body of the illness more quickly and fight off any other germy contenders.
2. Amp Up Your Intake of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
The colors in fruits and vegetables contain amazing nutrients that help keep your body and your mind functioning in optimal condition. If you increase your current vegetable and fruit intake by one to three servings per day, you can increase the likelihood of staying healthy throughout this season. Adding fruits and veggies also helps to increase your energy and improve your digestion.
The next time you go grocery shopping, start in the produce section and aim to get a full load of colorful fruits and veggies in your basket—try to represent the entire rainbow! Be sure to have a plan for how you will use them—you don’t want to waste any!
3. Zinc Lozenges
I love zinc lozenges. If I have even a slight twinge of a sore throat or sniffle, or if I have been around someone who does, I immediately start pounding the zinc. (My favorites are Quantum Health Zinc Elderberry Lozenges). Studies have shown that taking zinc lozenges at the start of a cold can reduce the duration and lessen the severity of the symptoms. Keep them stocked in your at home farmacy all throughout this season.
4. Essential oils
I love my aromatherapy diffuser. Not only does it help keep my living space all zen and fresh smelling, the essential oils have amazing therapeutic properties. During this season, choose oils that have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties to help reduce the spread of germs in your home while enjoying the pleasant aromas. It’s best to use an aromatherapy diffuser that you use with water and add a few drops of a blend of oils to freshen and cleanse your air.
The list of essential oils that are known to help keep germs at bay is quite long. Here is a short list: oregano, thyme, frankincense, sweet orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, clove, sandalwood and lemongrass—just to name a few! You can create your own blend of those that smell pleasant to you.
Two of my favorite blends that I think smell amazing and help to keep my air clean and healthy are: 1. rosemary, sandalwood and frankincense and 2. lemongrass, tea tree and clove. Try diffusing essential oils this season for your health and also for your overall wellbeing! You might also enjoy adding essential oils to a bath or steam them and directly breathe them in! Ahhhh….
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Oh apple cider vinegar, what would I do without you? The list of possible uses for apple cider vinegar is super long—from aiding digestion to reducing nasal congestion—it is an absolute staple in my home farmacy! One of the benefits specific to cold and flu season is that it has powerful healing properties and it can kill off pathogens like bacteria.
You can make an apple cider vinegar drink by diluting 2 tablespoons with about 6 ounces filtered water and about a ½ teaspoon of raw honey. Drink it down to help ease a sore throat or to help prevent catching a bug and to help you stay healthy!
Another use is a homemade disinfectant made with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 4 ounces water and a drop or two of an essential oil. Use this mixture to disinfect shared surfaces like countertops and doorknobs if someone else in your home is ill. There are many other beneficial uses for apple cider vinegar, I highly recommend it!
Try these five natural ways to help keep yourself healthy this cold and flu season or to help shorten the duration of an illness if you end up catching one. Even if you choose just one to try along with your general wellness practices, you can impact your health for the better today!