Anyone else feeling that Winter weather getting to them? Have co-workers calling out sick more often than not? Need some tips to beat cold & flu season? You guessed it, we’ve officially moved into the season of sickness.  While there isn’t a cure for the common cold, there are ways to avoid it entirely or expedite your healing time using natural methods. While it may be easy to reach for the drug store products,  they’re not necessarily the best & sometimes not even backed by science. All in all, it’s important to understand what works best for you, there are preemptive steps you can take to help when you’re feeling under the weather.  

Here are some of my tips to beat “cold & flu season”

how to beat cold & flu season

Try To Avoid: 

  • Alcohol: This holiday beverage can completely dehydrate you, and weaken your immune system entirely.  This in turn will make it a longer, more difficult process for your body to recover. If you’re fighting off a cold, I would high recommend saving that glass of wine for when you’re feeling better. Trust me, it’ll be worth it! 
  • Sugar & Sugary Drinks: These offenders tend to increase inflammation in the body, and reduce the ability of our white blood cells to work properly. This combo will definitely leave you feeling worse, rather than better. So try to avoid processed sugars & sugary drinks as you work to heal yourself. 
  • Heavily Processed Foods:  These culprits are also full of pro-inflammatory ingredients, so it’s best to save your treat meals for when the sickness has passed. 

“Must Haves” to Recover: 

  • Hot Tea: This tasty heated beverage acts as a decongestant, helping clear sinuses of mucus. Teas also contain polyphenols which are a natural antioxidant and they can help with sore throats. If you’re starting to get an itchy throat or feel a cough coming on, I would recommend swapping tea for coffee! 
    • Hot Teas I love: Chamomile, Hibiscus, Peppermint, Sage, Ginger, Rose Hip, and Green
  • Natural Raw Honey: Interestingly enough, raw natural honey has antibacterial effects and there’s some evidence that it stimulates the immune system. 
    • Remember you don’t need a large amount as it contains a lot of natural sugars, but a ½ teaspoon should work great.⠀
  • Vitamin C Rich Foods: These immunity boosters have a strong antioxidant content that can help boost your blood antioxidant levels. Foods like bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, kale, etc are packed with vitamin C so stock up on those. 
  • Leafy Greens: I love incorporating leafy greens into my routine if I’m starting to get sick as they’re packed full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They’re also loaded with beneficial plant compounds that act as an antioxidant that fights inflammation.⠀
    • Pro Tip: Not a huge greens lover?! Throw them into your morning smoothie for a quick morning boost.
  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV): I’m sure you’ve heard about me talk about ACV, but this compound helps with overall digestion which supports immune function since most of your immune system lies in your digestive tract.
  • Almonds: One of my favorite snacks! Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which is very important for a healthy immune system. They make for a great snack when you’re trying to get better. 
  • Probiotics: Live cultures in probiotic and fermented foods stimulate the immune system & fight infections, making them a good choice for when you’re on the mend. 
    • Try fueling up on probiotics through Kefir, Yogurt, Kimchi, or probiotic supplements. 

As another preemptive measure, adding a vitamin D supplement into your routine during the winter, is a great way to facilitate getting Vitamin D if you can’t get outside.  Vitamin D can be a beneficial immunity booster in helping fight off the cold or flu. 

Hope these tips help get you through the cold season! Would love to hear your best tips for fighting off sickness too 🙂