Cold and Flu Prevention
As the seasons begin to change, cold and flu symptoms will slowly but surely emerge in the general population. While we can certainly catch a cold any time of the year, certain viruses flourish at different temperatures and the fall and winter are ideal for common cold viruses. Some of us may be more prone to catching colds while others can skate through an entire year with barely a sniffle. What causes some of us to get sick more often than others?
Our bodies “catch” a cold when we are unable to effectively fight off a virus. Not being able to ward off harmful intruders can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or a depressed immune system. Other causes include lack of sleep, mold exposure, an impaired digestive tract, increased stress and traveling. In all of these cases, the immune system is compromised. So, how do we ensure our immune system is strong enough to keep the common cold and dreaded flu away?
Supporting our bodies with potent immune boosting foods is a great place to start. Bone broth is an ancient remedy that has regained popularity over the last decade, for good reason. It’s amino acid and mineral rich composition make it great for boosting the immune system and repairing the gut, which is located within our immune system. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and can break down mucus along with another cold-preventing beverage: hot water! Water alone will help the body move nutrients in and toxins out, as well as breakdown congestion. When we add in antiviral components like honey, ginger and lemon, we have an immune boosting, and cold-fighting super drink! Last but certainly not least, garlic is an incredible addition as it is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Garlic is great for both prevention and treatment as it will boost and aid the immune system in fighting off any infection or virus present. Wondering why orange juice wasn’t on this list? It turns out that “OJ” may actually do more harm than good when it comes to fighting off the common cold and flu.
Orange juice along with other concentrated fruit juices are not all they’re cracked up to be when it comes to nutrient density. They also come laced with more sugar which can inhibit our white blood cells from fighting off infections. When going for vitamin C, choosing a whole orange that also contains water, fiber, and ample amounts of vitamin C, is best. Refined grains can compromise our immune system by harming our digestive tract, causing inflammation, and causing vital nutrients to be lost (leaky gut). Finally, conventional dairy can actually thicken phlegm in the throat, making congestion worse.
Considering the steps above may not make us invincible to airborne illnesses, but it can certainly give us the fighting edge. The common cold last for about 7 days, and if we empower our bodies with nutrients that will help us fight it off, we can incur the least amount of “sick days”. So let’s whip up an immune boosting concoction this fall and cheers to being able to spend more time around our friends, family, and in the gym this “cold and flu season”, instead of quarantined in our bedrooms!
- Myers, Amy. “10 Tips for Preventing the Cold & Flu Naturally.” Amy Myers MD, 13 Aug. 2019, https://www.amymyersmd.com/2018/10/prevent-cold-flu-naturally/.
- Price, Annie. “Common Cold Remedies for Fast Relief and Prevention.” Dr. Axe, 7 Nov. 2018, https://draxe.com/health/cold-and-flu/natural-cold-remedies/.