9 Natural Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu
Flu season or not, adopting sound lifestyle habits that boost your immune system and keep you healthy are on most everyone's minds, especially with current pandemic considerations.
Always be mindful and prepared during these current global and local health measures and before the weather changes, as we dive into another season (fall). Unless you have countless hours of sick days you wish to cash in or love leaving your health to chance, healthy, holistic and preventative measures are the best rules of thumb when trying to outsmart your body from sinking into feeling like it's got the flu or cold, which can both leave you feeling icky, to say the least. (And no one likes to continue working from home, or teach virtual homeschool while feeling like a sack of potatoes).
Below are my favorite natural and beneficial ways to prevent the flu, whether you are 2 years old or 90!
1. Get lots of sunshine & fresh air outdoors!
Unless you are living where there are fires and smoke that have colored your sky orange and the health index for quality air is in the unhealthy/dangerous range, get outdoors!!! People who get a good dose of vitamin D from the sun (at least 15 min a day) and utilize Mother Nature's fresh air will not only have their moods lifted but also create more serotonin (the feel-good hormones) released into the body.
Vitamin D boosts the immune system, just like eating mushrooms, (filled with vitamin D). People who feel better mentally and physically have stronger immune systems and will most likely avoid getting sick.
2. Wash your hands often & Don't touch eyes/mouth
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially for children, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, and/or using alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand rub when water and soap are not available will decrease the chance of getting sick by 65-80 percent!
3. Staying away from populated places, especially enclosed areas
When flu season is at its peak (mid-October through January), try to avoid going to extremely populated and enclosed areas where re-circulated air and germs can proliferate and infiltrate your body.
Top places with germs:
☉ restaurants (especially the bathrooms, menus, condiment dispensers)
☉ airplane/airport bathrooms
☉ grocery store and/or shopping carts
☉ gymnasiums and workout rooms
☉ doctor's offices
4. Get good rest
When your body is well rested, your immune system is up and all defenses are ready to keep your body well.
A lack of quality sleep deletes the body's ability to fight off foreign invaders. Even 20 minute cat naps in the middle of the day will help!
Shut down all electronically devices 2 hours before going to bed so the brain and optic nerves prepare for melatonin release and a good night's rest.
Adults, try to aim for 7-9 hours, and children 12-14 hours!
Make sure to limit caffeine and stimulating foods for before 2 pm, and sleep without electronics by your side (at least 5 feet away) and without lights.
5. Meditate, exercise or other stress release
I have recorded more than 30 episodes on mindfulness and meditation/stress relief on Apple and other podcast platforms. Check them out! It's called "Braincation with Dr. Nancy Lin" . Click on the link to access for free!
Perhaps on of the precursors to a cold or the flu is a compromised immune system, and the fastest way to deplete those defenses is stress.
The holidays can be very stressful with holiday shopping, family reunions, traveling, changing of the weather, deadlines for the end of the year and all the festivity celebrations can leave us feeling overwhelmed.
Without a routine stress release (through exercising, crafting, journaling, yoga, meditation or which ever else you call stress release), this hustle and bustle of the fall/winter season is not sustainable and will invite colds and flus to overtake the body.
Exercising creates good endorphins and lifts up the mood and boosts the immune system as well. Find a way to channel your stress.
6. Eat and drink your fruits and veggies!
Boost your immune system from the inside out and build an armor of strength and good feeling with the foods you choose to eat and drink.
I suggest a green drink or two a day (green apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, celery, ginger, parsley and lemon) and try eating 5-7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.
These live foods are choc filled with phytochemicals and micronutrients to rid the body of foreign invaders that aim to weaken the body's optimal wellness functioning.
Also, pay attention to what is local and in season. Eating those foods will ensure that the most amount of vitamins and minerals are present.
7. Oils, Oils, Oils
Don't forget to utilize your oils!
Good oils that you can consume from foods (coconut oils, omega 3 oils, hemp and flaxseed oils) as well as essential oils that can be diffused into the air, used on or in the body as anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.
For more information on essential oils, please visit hmydoterra.com/truthnhealth.
Make sure you and your family take daily doses of probiotics.
These are the good bacteria in the gut that helps to stave off colds and the flu, maintains the homeostasis in the gut and re-balances the bacteria we need in our bodies that are destroyed by antibiotics.
Also, eat regular (not too much) amounts of fermented foods with naturally occurring probiotics (Greek yogurt, miso, tempeh, kimchi, coconut kefir and sauerkraut.
9. Elderberry, Colostrum and Water
These three are bonuses when boosting the immune system.
♢ Elderberry syrup
This is packed with vitamins A, B and C, but it also stimulates the immune system, has been shown to prevent colds and the flu, and tastes delicious.
It is available for children and adults.
It is the "liquid gold" that comes from the pre-milk of a newly mothered cow. It is filled with live antibodies and is frozen and encapsulated or made into powdered form.
Drinking water and staying hydrated is your best everyday habit to fight against possible flu and cold season.
Also, keep the humidifier handy in your sleeping room. When the weather changes to cold, it is often dry as well.
Dry weather does not allow the body to produce mucus, which is a great first defense to protecting our bodies from foreign invaders. Infuse humidifiers with essential oils for a double dose of protection.
Sources: Health.com, CDC.com, WebMD.com, foxnews.com