When it comes to cold and flu season, we DO NOT mess around in our house! I have a giant arsenal of amazing, natural methods for sailing through the holidays and beyond feeling vibrant and energetic. We don't let those nasty bugs dampen our spirits—nor should you!
Here's a list of my favorite ways to stay healthy this season:
1. WASH YOUR HANDS. We all know that washing your hands is the NUMBER 1 protective measure you can take to avoid germs. Wash well, and wash often during cold and flu season!
2. RINSE YOUR SINUSES. Using a saline nasal spray or doing a nasal rinse with the neti pot keeps your nasal passages moist protects them from pathogenic germs. We spray at least twice a day—and definitely before and during air travel.
3. MINERALIZE WITH BONE BROTH. I always have some on hand (in the freezer or for daily sipping). Bone broth has been used throughout the ages to nurse someone back to health when in the throes of cold or flu. This is in part, due to how rich in minerals bone broth can be. Chicken bone broth especially adds the much needed nourishment to your body when you’ve come down with something because it contains an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine can help thin out the mucous in your lungs making it easier for you to expel from your body. Other amino acids and fats help lower inflammation levels, while the broth itself is simple for the gut to digest. Eating simply in times of illness gives your body an edge to focus on regeneration and healing rather than directing that energy towards digestion. Bone broth is an easy, satisfying, and comforting way during the cold months to ensure we are getting an abundance of minerals. Most Americans are deficient in minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and calcium. There is a catch though, IT MUST BE HOMEMADE. No store-bought versions! (I’ll be teaching classes in the coming months for making bone broth. Stay tuned!)
4. GET YOUR VITAMIN C. Choose a Vitamin C that is at least 600 mg and has the appropriate cofactors: Bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is protective, boosts immunity, is a natural anti-inflammatory and in large quantities, curative. Research suggests taking up to 5,000 mg a day to bowel tolerance. This is a water-soluble vitamin, so we take 600 mg every other hour or so.
5. GET YOUR VITAMIN D3. Because we are not sunbathing in the winter, it is important to keep your levels up. Vitamin D regulates more than 2,000 genes in your body, therefore a sufficient amount of Vitamin D is an integral part to staying disease-free. It can help keep us safe from colds, flu, and heart disease, as well as slow down the aging process, lower inflammatory markers in the body, and aid in the healing process. Many experts recommend 5,000-10,000 IUs daily if deficient (you can get your Vitamin D3 blood levels checked with a lab panel ordered by your doctor).
6. TAKE YOUR PROBIOTICS! I can‘t say it enough: 70% of your immune system is found in the gut, and in today’s world we are over run with bad bacteria. The good bacteria does its job and is expelled from the body through sweat, urine, and feces. So it is very important to continually repopulate your gut with good bacteria. This is especially important if you’ve ever had a round of antibiotics.
7. GET YOUR GARLIC. A compound called ALLICIN is largely responsible for the antibacterial effects found in garlic. Numerous studies have been conducted on garlic and its impacts on the cold and flu. In one study with a focus on aged garlic extract, colds were shown to reduce in length up to 61%. Add crushed garlic to your bone broth soup and supplement with aged garlic extract when you’re feeling low to recover more quickly and kill bad bacteria off in your body. Be sure to supplement with probiotics during this time as well to create harmony in your gut.
8. DRINK MY ANTI-VIRAL HOT TODDY. This recipe never disappoints!
To 4 ounces of hot water, add:
- 1 teaspoon of Elderberry Syrup
- 1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey
- Juice of half a lemon
Add some fresh grated ginger. Ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. With its high levels of Vitamin C, magnesium, and other minerals, ginger root is extremely beneficial for health. This Hot Toddy is an incredible tea with immunity boosters known to reduce inflammation and prevent many illnesses. Make and drink this 3-4 times a day. Both Manuka Honey and Elderberry Syrup have potent anti-viral and antibiotic properties.
9. SUPPLEMENT WITH MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS. The mushroom kingdom is full of natural wonders that provide a host of benefits from killing cancer cells, soaking up radiation to boosting the immune system and fighting influenza. Cordyceps in particular are proven helpful for combatting a flu and may also help support the lungs when under stress. Biotics Bio Immunozyme Forte is my absolute MUST have; I take it up to 6 times a day!
10. DRAW AN EPSOM SALT BATH. This is an essential part of our routine. This bath will help detoxify your body as you support your immune system and purge out the toxins. Use at least 2 cups of Epsom Salts to a tub filled with very hot water. Stay in for at least 20 minutes.
If you need help staying healthy this winter, I am available for a complimentary Nutritional Consultation. Reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org