“You really do have a lot of control over how well your immune system does or does not function, so by taking the necessary dietary and lifestyle steps can make a real difference to whether you get sick or not this winter”. Michelle Sanchez
I was chatting to my naturopath Michelle Sanchez and asked her for some advice on preventing the flu this winter as well things I could do for my self or the kids if I felt a cold coming on.
Flu vaccine or not, there are some fabulous tips in here to help you and your family avoiding the flu this winter.
Here is Michelle’s fantastic advice as well as her homemade cold/ flu remedy.
Do you have any tips on preventing the flu? Let us know below.
Sometimes our natural defence mechanisms can fail us, especially when we are not in tip-top condition.
Here are 7 steps to prevent yourself from getting sick this winter.
1) Avoid high sugar foods and refined carbohydrates
2) Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
3) Keep hydrated by drinking lots of filtered water
4) Regularly eat immune boosting foods such as:
- Raw garlic – it has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, plus it’s great for balancing the bacteria in the gut.
- Ginger – it has antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory actions.
- Green veggies such as kale, broccoli, cabbage and spinach as they provide essential B vitamins, iron and vitamin C.
- Orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin – they provide an amazing source of vitamin A which helps maintain the mucous membranes of the nose and throat to protect us from bacteria and viruses.
- Citrus fruits and berries – these fruits are very high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Pumpkin seeds – they are a great source of zinc.
5) Keep stress to a minimum
6) Ensure that your digestive system is working optimally
7) Get your vitamin D and iron levels checked
Here are some key nutrients that will help support the immune system and also help the body to recover quicker.
- Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that has immune stimulating and anti-histamine properties. It also helps to make antibodies and certain types of immune cells in the body.
- Zinc is one of the main minerals needed to support the immune system. Zinc plays a role in synthesizing immune cells and antibodies, it also has antiviral properties and helps tissues to heal effectively.
- Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Shiitake are amazing because they have immune-stimulating, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Immune-boosting herbs such as Echinacea and Propolis. Also, the herbs Thyme and Goldenseal which have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, assist in clearing up excess mucous and heal mucous membranes.
- Probiotics – these are the ‘good’ bacteria that come in a supplement form that help to re-populate the gut so that the digestive system can work efficiently.
Before you start taking any supplements, please speak to your naturopath or healthcare provider to ensure that there are no contraindications with any medications you may be taking and also to make sure that you are taking the correct dose.
Here’s my homemade cold/ flu remedy that works a treat!
1-2 cloves garlic crushed
Thumb of ginger root grated
1 large cup of hot water
Small pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp Honey (raw or Jarrah is preferably)
Chop the garlic and then crush it with a pestle in a cup. Squeeze the lemon into the cup, then add the grated ginger and hot water. Add the cayenne pepper and honey, and stir until mixed. It’s best to drink one cup of these a few times per day whilst in the acute phase of a cold or flu.
Hope you found this post useful, and if you did, please share it with friends and family to help them from getting sick too!
Bio for Michelle Sanchez
Michelle is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist, and founder of Vitality Corner, a popular health and wellness blog. Michelle is a passionate and dedicated practitioner who believes that good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are the key to optimum health and vitality. Her areas of expertise include hormonal health, pre-conception care, natural fertility management, digestive issues, anxiety and depression. For more information, see www.vitalitycorner.com or contact Michelle via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.