Fighting the Flu--The Natural Way
What a glorious time of year fall is. The leaves are changing colors, the kids are back in school, football is back on. All is right with the world. Until the flu strikes.
Fortunately, there are tons of things you can do to naturally prevent yourself from being a victim of the flu. Here are my top five recommendations for preventing illness this lovely fall season:
- You probably guessed it before I even said it, right? It’s all about what you EAT! Flu season is no time to back down from your nutrient-dense diet. You put good in, you get good out, especially when the germs are floating around. During flu season especially, go for grass-fed meats, organic veggies and fruits and omega-3 cage-free eggs; avoid processed foods and sugars like they’re the plague! Oh, and add these superfoods to your diet to boost your immune system even more.
- Stay hydrated. The best way to do this is through good old-fashioned water. You can also supplement with pure coconut water, or you can create your own flavored water by adding lemons, limes, cucumbers or other fruits and veggies.
- Take fish oil. No, it’s not as gross as it sounds. The best version nutrition experts recommend is fermented cod liver oil (FCLO), because not only does it contain the inflammation-reducing fatty acids of fish oil, but it also contains fat-soluble vitamins A and D to help support your immune system. You can find FCLO here. Traditional Vitamin C supplements are also a good idea.
- Bone broth. This age-old immune booster simply does not get enough credit today. Broth has been used for centuries as a mineral-rich food that is great at preventing illness and reducing existing symptoms. All you need are a few bones—which you can extract yourself from meat you have cooked or you can obtain from your local butcher—some vinegar and your choice of herbs and vegetables. You can simmer it on the stovetop if you’d like, but, as it takes about a full day to cook it perfectly, I’d recommend leaving it in your slow cooker. Here’s a simple bone broth recipe from Wellness Mama.
- Supplement with herbs. You can find tons of illness-preventing herbs at your local grocery store. Ginger and garlic are known to have great immune system benefits, as ginger is anti-inflammatory and garlic is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Cinnamon has also been proven to be an anti-viral herb (it has also been proven to be delicious). Some other herbs you might want to try are chamomile, elderberry, nettle leaf and peppermint.
I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to get a flu shot or take over the counter medication to treat illness. However, I do believe that the fewer amounts of unnatural substances you can manage to put into your body, the better off you’ll be in the long run. For this reason, I recommend using natural means to prevent you and your family from catching the flu this season.