The time to fight cold and flu season is officially upon us! Before you shriek and run for cover (hand sanitiser in tow), take advantage of lessons learned from seasons passed and make sure your immunity is prepped and ready for the cooler months ahead.
So what’s the most effective way to fight cold and flu season and give your immunity a mighty boost? Start by packing your diet with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, and plenty of bug-busting protein and iron.
“Eat a wide range of colourful fruits and veggies, along with lean red meat or good vegetarian sources of protein and iron,” says Cenovis Home Economist, Mandy dos Santos. “This way all the critical micronutrients and macronutrients your body needs will be supported and fuelled.”
While there is no cure for colds and cases of flu, try these simple remedies to help ease the symptoms and get you feeling back to normal in no time.
How to fight the flu and beat a cold
Rest is best
As much as we’re told to rest and recuperate when sick, many of us ignore this advice and keep charging on! But rest is key, as it helps your body to use its energy to fight the bug faster. Plus, keeping away from others is also important for stopping the spread of germs (don’t we know all about that?!).
Keep wearing your mask
Although a lot of COVID mask restrictions have been lifted, it’s still a great way to protect yourself (and others) from germs. So if you’ve gotten into the habit of wearing one in crowded areas, don’t stop now! It’s an excellent weapon in the fight against cold and flu season.
Pop a probiotic
Want to nix that runny nose and sore throat ASAP? The good bacteria in probiotics help to lower the body’s inflammatory response to a cold or flu, which will help reduce the severity of symptoms, quick smart.
Now is the time to get your body’s hydration levels up to help flush toxins out of your system and loosen congestion. Guzzle plenty of H20, or add a slice of lemon to warm water to up your vitamin C intake. Steer clear of alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated soft drinks as they can drain your body of fluids.
Take a hot shower
Before you hit the hay, clear out your nasal passages by taking a long, hot shower. The steam and humidity will help to break down congestion, freeing up your sinuses for a more restful night’s sleep. A humidifier might also be handy for the bedroom.
Hit the herbs
When you feel a cold creeping on, arm yourself with Echinacea and garlic supplements, or take homeopathic tablets like Boiron Coldcalm ($16.47 at iHerb) to help rapidly reduce the severity and length of a cold. Also, try sipping ginger tea to relieve aches and fever, and peppermint tea to decongest your sinuses.
Up your veggie intake
Eating a rainbow of vegetables is important all year round but even more so if you’re wanting to fight the flu. Greens like kale and broccoli in particular contain an antioxidant called quercetin that can help you fend off the sniffles. If you find it difficult to fit these foods into your diet, consider a superfood powder like Nature’s Way Super Greens Plus Powder ($16.99 at Chemist Warehouse).
How do you fight off colds and flus? Will you try any of these tricks next time you’ve got a bug?