Keep the flu at bay the natural way this winter! With the colder months well and truly upon us, you may be starting to feel the symptoms of a cold or flu settling in, about to derail you. Don’t be tempted to reach for those over-the-counter ‘quick fix’ meds. There are many natural ways to kick a cold and supercharge your immune system, and most of the time you don’t have to look any further than your pantry or local health food shop.
Here are some natural remedies that will protect your long-term health and trim your time spent feeling under the weather this cold and flu season…
Garlic has long-been used to enhance immunity and kick those winter nasties out of your system. Research has shown its specific potential to combat viruses responsible for colds and the flu. Ginger, similarly to garlic, is an age-old natural remedy for treating the sniffles, attributable to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both garlic and ginger can be easily incorporated into your daily diet; add to your cup of tea in the morning or to your broth or soup at dinnertime. For those daring enough, you may choose to swallow garlic on its own, and ginger can be added to some hot water with lemon and honey as a warming bedtime drink.
Echinacea is a popular herbal remedy that has been shown to enhance immune function and reduce common cold and flu symptoms. Several studies have shown that if Echinacea is given as soon as symptoms arise, it may shorten the duration of these symptoms. There is further evidence to show an overall improvement in health-related quality of life associated with Echinacea supplementation. Not to mention the fact that there is no evidence highlighting any adverse effects of Echinacea on your health. You can’t go wrong!
Fermented foods are important for maintaining a healthy gut. The gut is the largest part of your immune system, therefore, fermented foods will come in handy for boosting your immunity too. Fermented foods contain healthy bacteria, otherwise referred to as probiotics, that maintain the correct balance in your gut flora. Examples of fermented foods/drinks that would be good to consume include Kombucha, sauerkraut, coconut yogurt and miso. If none of these foods appeal to you, a probiotic supplement may be your best bet for a healthy gut. Keeping your gut in optimal working order is essential to your immune system and overall health!
Turmeric has one of the highest antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of all foods! It contains a compound called curcumin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory that fights inflammation from a molecular level. This is particularly important for many Western diseases that start from chronic inflammation in the body. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant that helps minimise free radical damage at a cellular level. In this way, turmeric protects the body, enhances immune function, and promotes overall wellbeing.
What is your favourite natural remedy to ward off colds and flu this winter?