It’s that time of year again… everyone in your office is dropping like flies and you sit in your cubicle wishing you had a plastic bubble around you to keep the germs at bay.
If you are not interested in taking cold and flu medicine and would like to try some more natural remedies to boost that immune system here are 10 basic guidelines and tips to follow:
- Doing more harm than good: At the first sign of illness it is a good idea to remove any foods that will suppress your immune system such as milk, cheese, dairy, sugar and often grains. Dairy will actually promote mucus in the body when you are sick. I know all you want is comfort food when you are not feeling your best but this temporary comfort won’t help you get better and may in fact prolong your suffering.
- Avoid eating too much: When you are sick your body doesn’t need a lot of food as it is trying to heal itself. Eating too much food will take the focus away from ridding the body of illness and instead waste energy working to digest the food you just ate. We have all heard that we should drink plenty of liquids when we’re sick, so I recommend that you try easy to digest liquid foods such as bone broth or fresh vegetable and fruit juice. Oh and water, water and more water to flush out those toxins.
- Get Moving: If you are trying to prevent getting sick regular exercise is a perfect way to help boost your immune system. Even walking on your lunch break can help get your blood pumping!
- Dry brushing: This is a great way to get your lymphatic system pumping and help rid any toxins through the skin! Check out our post on dry brushing for more information!
- Warm up to herbal tea: There is a reason we crave warm drinks in winter time… Your body is telling you something! So invest in some delicious organic herbal teas that can also help fight off illness such as ginger, chamomile, peppermint or nettle leaf. If you need a little sweetness in your tea try adding a drop of raw unpasteurized honey as this can also be a great anti-bacterial!
- Garlic, Garlic, Garlic.. and other things: Garlic is an AMAZING anti-fungal and antibacterial powerhouse. A clove of garlic in the ear (yes I know this sounds weird!) can actually really help an earache as it works to pull out the infection. Make sure to include fresh garlic in lots of your cooking! Coconut oil and onions are other great anti-bacterial/anti-fungal ingredients to use. They say leaving a sliced half an onion in a room can help absorb bad bacteria (yes, I know this also sounds kind of strange but why not try it?)
- Sleep, rest, repeat: Getting a good night sleep is crucial for keeping your immune system strong and preventing illness. So do your best to shut off all electronics an hour before bed and try some relaxing exercises to promote sleep such as having a warm bath or listening to calming music with dim lights.
- For those wanting to take it a step further: Try mixing 5-6 drops of oregano oil or a splash of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of water. Oregano oil can help stop a sore throat and may help cure a nasty flue. Apple cider vinegar is useful for breaking up mucous and can assist in cleansing the lymph nodes.
- Having a healthy gut: Having healthy gut flora is incredibly important for overall health and can help ensure you have a strong immune system that is ready to fight off germs. If taking a probiotic every day doesn’t work for you try including some fermented foods in to your diet. Check out our blog post on fermented foods here.
- Yes vitamin C is our friend: This isn’t the first time you are hearing vitamin C is important when you have a cold. Well it’s the truth! This water soluble vitamin is perhaps the best for cold and flu season. Because it is water soluble feel free to double up on your dose as excess will just come out in your urine. Eating food high in vitamin C is also a great way to get your vitamins and fight off those pesky germs.
For more tips and advice please feel free to email us!
*A reminder that these may not be right for everyone and if you are pregnant, a child, on medication or have other health concerns it is important to consult with a medical doctor or naturopath before trying anything new.