How to Beat the Flu Naturally this Winter
Seriously? I cannot believe that it is already that time of year… that time when every sneeze, sniffle, or ache has you on edge that you may just be headed towards days on the couch surrounded by piles of wadded tissues and bowls full of chicken soup. Oh, and lots and lots of naps….(oh wait, that nap thing isn’t sounding so bad).
BUT…since none of us like the fevers, chills, and body aches that come along with the flu (even if those naps are enticing), the best thing we can do is be proactive and keep our systems strong, healthy, and ready to fight off those winter sickies!
Taking a preventative approach and making sure our immune systems are in the best shape possible to ward off the germs will be our best game-plan to stay healthy this illness-filled season.
9 Quick Things to Do NOW to Ward off the Flu Naturally This Winter:
- Drink that Broth – true Bone Broth, that is. For many of my loyal followers, you will not be surprised that this is my #1 go-to defense. Grandma was right after all! Chicken soup is not only good for the soul, but, when made as true bone broth, it will go a long way in boosting your immune system and keeping you healthy. Read about all the benefits of Bone Broth here.
- Make sure your Vitamin D3 Levels are in a normal range – a simple blood test by your doctor will let you know where your levels lie. If they are in the lower end range, make sure you take adequate D3 supplementation and spend plenty of time in the mid-day sun this winter. Active Vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator. Much scientific evidence shows that it has several different effects on immune system function that can enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmunity and go a long way in preventing the cold and flu.
- Clean up your diet and fill it with whole, pure, organic, unprocessed, anti-oxidant rich, and anti-inflammatory foods. Find ways to add things such as kale, collards, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, garlic, onions, mushrooms, blueberries, blackberries, sweet potatoes, winter squash. Add tons of produce to smoothies (frozen produce is great during the winter) or make green juices or raw vegetable soups.
- Drink your Apple Cider Vinegar every day – the raw, organic, kind with the “mother” still in it. Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in minerals and enzymes and is a wonderful promoter of the immune system. It actually has alkaline properties which aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state, crucial for a healthy immune system. Add it salad dressings, soups, sauces, cooked vegetables, or even make an Apple Cider Vinegar sipping drink.
- Eat your Garlic – it is anti-bacterial (it acts as a potent antibiotic), anti-fungal, and anti-viral and can prevent infections from taking hold and spreading. It is rich in Vitamin C, B6, Selenium, and Manganese and has powerful immune boosting benefits. A couple raw cloves a day will do it – chop it up and add it to salads, soups, sauces, and already cooked meals.
- Drink your Water Kefir – Water kefir is so simple to make and is a natural supplier of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeasts (probiotics) to our digestive tract and can help to bring balance to your inner microflora. It has a tonifying and cleansing effect on your intestines. Water Kefir is perfect for a Dairy-Free or Vegan diet and is rich in Vitamins B1, B6, and B12.
- Add Coconut Oil and Coconut Cream to your cooking, baking, and even your smoothies. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Eat your Cultured Vegetables – Re-establish internal ecology and healthy intestinal flora with probiotics from cultured vegetables, such as real sauerkraut and lacto-fermented cucumber pickles, beets, onions or garlic. Like Water Kefir, supplementing our diet with fermented foods strengthens and supports our digestive and immune systems— thereby helping our bodies to fight off and prevent diseases, like colds, the flu, and even cancer.
- Focus on the health of your gut! With about 70% of the immune system residing in the gut, this is one area that you will WANT To focus on! SO…focus on this advice: Heal the Gut!
My best advice is for you to try and add a few of these ideas into your diet every day. In addition, do not forget to get plenty of sleep and exercise, reduce your stress, and laugh a lot!! All of this will go a long way in keeping you feeling good this winter!
Oh, and do not forget to stop by my post on The Balanced Platter today – I am doing a Giveaway of The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide, Parts 1 and 2, written by Brittany Angell and Iris Higgins!
Now, Please tell me….What do you do to stay healthy during flu season?
Kim Maes, CNC, AADP, known as the Allergy Free Food Coach, is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and Certified in the Practical Application of Food Allergy Guidelines.. She is also the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps and the Cook It Allergy Free website, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy.