We are in the middle of cold and flu season, but that doesn't mean you have to get sick! There are simple steps you can take to supercharge your immune system and avoid sickness. I've been flu-free for years, so here are few of my QUICK TIPS how to avoid winter colds and flu.
A few years back, when I was still living a very unhealthy life, I was sick all the time. I would constantly have some inflammations, UTIs, and other infections. Every single winter, I was ill. Nose running, fever, aches, and pains. During the cold and flu season, I used to visit doctors all the time. And my doctor just pumped me with antibiotics. I was swallowing endless amounts of pills and vitamin supplements just to keep my body functioning. It was awful.
After a while, antibiotics stopped working, and as a result of taking so many medications, I started to have a serious gut and digestive problems. It led me to a point where I couldn't take antibiotics anymore because they just make me sicker.
Luckily, at that point, I started to take my health more seriously. I started eating WHOLESOME food and making overall healthier lifestyle choices. Eventually, I healed my gut, strengthened my immune system, and I got my body in optimal healthy shape.
So, when it comes to colds and flu, your first line of defense is to get that immune system in shape. Meaning you must make healthier eating choices, move more, and sleep. Following general good-health guidelines is the best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
I think you'll agree with me that it's so much easier to prevent illness than spend time visiting doctors and going through endless rounds of antibiotics. So here are few of my QUICK TIPS on How To Avoid Winter Colds And Flu naturally:
1. USE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES DAILY
The immune system and inflammation go hand in hand, and causing an inflammatory response is one major way the immune system responds to a threat and starts to fight off bacteria or tissue damage. That’s why anti-inflammatory spices like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic are staples in my kitchen, and I use them daily all year round. But during winter I kinda increase my usage. I incorporate these super spices into each of my meal - a double dose. I use them in everything from soups, to salads, to drinks.
These spices are like inexpensive secret weapons that just about everyone can take advantage of. Have Orange Mango Turmeric Smoothie Bowl for breakfast or Carrot Ginger Soup for dinner. Both are delicious and powered up with SUPERSPICES!
2. LOAD UP PLATES WITH COLORFUL FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Healthy immune system warriors need good regular nourishment so make sure you load your plates with lots of colorful fruits and veggies. And while all fruit and veggies are healthy, some deserve special mention for their ability to quell inflammation in our body. Like citrus fruits. Or dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard. They all contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C – all of which help protect against colds and flu. Also, BLUEBERRIES rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.
How does Blueberry Smoothie Bowl sounds? Yummy, right! And for an extra immunity punch, you can add anti-inflammatory spices to your fruits and vegetables to increase their antioxidant capacity. Like this cinnamon-packed Spicy Broccoli Soup.
3. DRINK HERBAL TEAS
Herbal teas are a great way to prevent illness. Not only do you get the medicinal benefits, but they are also great for soothing, warming, and relaxing. During cold winter days, I have lots and lots of tea. Nothing warms me better than a cup of tea, that's an honest truth. I love to have a cup of chamomile tea with fresh ginger root and a bit of honey in the evening. Also, green tea, matcha tea, black tea and other beautiful flu-fighting teas are on my menu daily.
If you're into lattes (like me) - great. How about frothy warming Matcha Green Tea Latte?
4. EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Optimizing your gut flora is important for a well-functioning immune system, which protects our body from colds and flu. In fact, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut, as the result of an imbalanced gut flora.
Fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, help with reseeding your gut with good bacteria. Fermented foods can also help your body get rid of harmful toxins. Try this kefir loaded Yogurt Lemon Smoothie or Mixed Berry Kefir Smoothie.
5. TAKE YOUR PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT
Taking in fermented foods is the optimal way to sustain your digestive health. But in these modern times, the community of our beneficial bacteria in our gut are under constant attack from the environment. Our poor diet, daily stress, over-medicating... all of these things disrupt the healthy balance of our gut flora. We can combat this by eating probiotics foods, but sometimes that just isn’t enough.
Taking a probiotic supplement as a part of our daily routine is the way to ensure a sufficient amount of good bacteria that will keep our gut and our immune system in good shape. Learn how to choose good probiotic supplement.
6. HYDRATE YOUR BODY
Keeping your body well hydrated helps your immune system function efficiently, so make sure you drink a lot of fluids. Pure water is the best, so keep your water bottle filled up and at hand all the time. If you’re using reusable bottles, just make sure you wash it with hot soapy water every day because reusable bottles can breed bacteria.
7. GET THE HUMIDIFIER
The humidifier is one amazing device and the best investment if you’re aiming to reduce your sensitivity to infection. It helps prevent you from getting sick in the first place and relieves cold and flu symptoms if you already caught a virus. It also keeps your face, lips, and hair from completely drying out during the winter.
8. GET ENOUGH OF SLEEP
You may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to higher levels of a stress hormone - cortisol, that fires up inflammation in our body. Getting plenty of rest strengthens our immune system and protect us from nasty diseases.
Usually, 7 to 9 hours for an adult is enough. I try to sleep at least 8 hours a day. Sleeping is a key for good mood and health.
While adding all these amazing superfoods in your diet, having plenty of sleep, and drinking water, it's also important to avoid those nasty pro-inflammatory processed foods like refined sugars, trans fats, and unhealthy cooking oils. Replacing processed foods with whole foods will affect not only your immunity system but overall body health.
The key to avoiding getting colds and flu every winter is keeping your body at optimal health all year round. That means having your immunity boosted up all the time. Avoiding getting sick starts with your diet. Food is an incredibly powerful tool.
Have you tried any of these strategies? If so, how have they worked? What are your favorite tips for preventing colds and flus? Let me know in comments below.
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