There’s nothing fun about catching a cold of the flu; you stay in bed for days on end, deprived of energy, with a pulsating headache, sore throat and a runny nose that doesn’t even get you in the mood to binge-watch your favourite series on Netflix. And don’t get me started on the fever!
For years, every flu-season I would spend multiple times down in bed. But now instead of taking my chances, waiting for the next symptoms, I’ve decided to work on boosting my immune system and beating colds and the flu to it. And I have to tell you, it seems to work so far! So, here’s what I do.
Finding a Helping Hand in Supplements
As my first line of defence, I did some shopping for cold vitamins packed with antioxidant nutrients to support the immune system, relieve symptoms of cold and flu and shorten their duration. My shopping cart consisted of vitamins C and D, and zinc, as well as extracts from horseradish, echinacea, and fenugreek known for its antiviral properties.
Besides using supplements myself, I also give them to my kids. Though some of these supplements are even allowed for kids as young as two, I still preferred getting mine special kids supplements they can chew. This way I know there won’t be any resistance in taking them when needed as they remind them of their favourite gummies.
Extra Attention to Nutrition
Aside from counting on the help of vitamins for colds, I use nutrition to not only ameliorate the symptoms once they’re there but give an additional boost to the immune system too to prevent further illnesses or at least diminish their frequency. Ditching sugar and using a natural sweetener such as that from monkfruit was my first step, followed by eating more leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens, cabbage, broccoli and spinach.
Of course, the key is in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, so herbs from the home container garden like oregano and eucalyptus, garlic, tomatoes, eggs, tuna, salmon, mushrooms, citrus fruits, berries and dark chocolate are a must too.
Hydration Is King
Water is essential for our bodies, especially when it comes to maintaining bodily functions and fending off germs and viruses. The way this happens is by getting rid of them through the kidneys as it prevents toxic build-up and promotes a healthy immune system.
In addition, water can ward off the flu by keeping the lining of the nose moist. This being said, remember to drink up daily, if not eight glasses then at least try to get as close as you can to this amount.
When I don’t feel like drinking that much water, I try to stay hydrated by making way for potent drinks full of antioxidants, in the example of teas like ginger, lemon based full of vitamin C, hibiscus, nettle and green. Though I’m a huge fan of coffee and love savouring it from my favourite mugs, I try to cut down on caffeine when I’m boosting my system with cold vitamins and teas.
No Compromise on Sleep
Sometimes we tend to take sleepless nights rather lightly, forgetting they can wreak havoc on our well-being in general. This is because during sleep there’s production in cytokines, small proteins released by the cells, which are part of the immune system and are essential for the regulation of inflammation.
Even one sleepless night is enough to make us more susceptible to viruses and germs, which for me is reason enough to take sleep seriously. Since I learned this the hard way, I started looking for alternative solutions like aromatherapy to improve my immune system and sleep.
Stress is another culprit that easily takes its toll on our health. As many of us are familiar with daily stress as a result of our busy schedules, it’s easy to forget the importance to slow things down and relax. Same as you’d remind yourself to drink up enough water, take your chosen vitamin for cold, eat fruits and veggies, it’s also necessary to take the time to unwind before calling it a day.
Even five to ten minutes are enough to breathe in and breathe out calmly and forget about the stressful world around and focus on yourself. If you don’t have the chance to relax together with your family, the same way we do with our family spa created for bliss, you should look for whatever provides you happiness the most. This could be spending some time with a person you love, applying your chosen beauty products, or taking up a new hobby.
Never Skip on Excercise
Staying active may not be everyone’s favourite thing to do but it’s crucial for the immune system. Certain types of exercise, such as aerobics, jogging, and even brisk walks, have been proven to be great solutions for boosting the body’s defence.
If you aren’t fond of any of these, the great news is even gardening serves as a nice activity, the kind you won’t even notice you’re doing as you enjoy tending to the needs of your plants. Anything that gets your heart going and increases circulation is good for the immune system.
Focus on Hygiene
Of course, I can’t omit this important factor. Maintaining hygiene at all times is necessary because sometimes we get into contact with germs and viruses touching certain surfaces infected individuals have touched before and we might not even know it.
Basically, taking care of hygiene is common sense and it’s as simple as remembering to wash our hands before and after food prep, after using the toilet, before getting our hands in contact with mouth, nose and eyes. Choose a soap with natural ingredients known for their antibacterial properties, wash up and you’re good to go.