8 Natural Ways to Combat Colds and Flu

Even for those with the strongest immune systems, winter remains the time of year when most of us undergo the abomination of flu and common colds.

Regardless of the fact that there is no cure for the influenza virus (flu) or a common cold, there are some natural measures that you can take to shorten the lifespan of the virus and relieve the symptoms.

1. Drink plenty of liquids

It is crucial to increase your fluid intake when you have the flu or a cold. The fluid ensures that you flush the cold out of your system; and also plays an important role in breaking down nasal congestion and keeping your throat moist.

2. Increase vitamin C intake

The stronger your immune system is, the faster and more effective it will be to get rid of the symptoms of flu and cold. Vitamin C is the main ingredient responsible for the optimal functioning of your immune system.

Eat lots of citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, limes and lemons; as well as vegetables with a high vitamin C content such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and yellow peppers.

3. Rest and avoid strenuous physical activities

When your body gets enough rest it frees up all your bodily functions and energy to focus on healing. Leave the laundry, use your sick leave or postpone the gardening until you feel better. How often do you have a good excuse to do nothing?

4. Get enough sleep

Resting is not the same as sleeping. Make sure you get quality sleep of at least 8 hours a night, as well as a nap or two if possible. When you sleep your body gets enough time to get better and to fight the spread of infection.

5. Know when to exercise

Moderate exercise can be good for relieving colds and flu. It can help to loosen mucus, improve blood circulation and transport oxygen throughout the body.

However, sometimes it can be dangerous to exercise when you have the flu. Use these guidelines to determine if you need to go to the gym or rather go to bed:

Exercise is safe when your symptoms occur from the neck up, for example:

  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

Exercise should be avoided when symptoms occur in areas below your neck, for example:

  • High fever
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Clogged / tight chest

6. The gift of ginger

Ginger contains many vitamins and minerals that help prevent fevers from developing. The soothing characteristic of ginger is also beneficial for the relief of a bad cough or sore throat.

Drink 2 or 3 cups of ginger tea daily when you have the flu. The inflammatory function of ginger also helps to combat headaches that often accompany colds.

7. Fresh air and vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for regulating immune response to fight diseases. Make sure you absorb the winter sun as much as possible to increase your vitamin D levels in a natural way.

The fresh air will do you good and also give you an emotional boost!

8. Soup

There is a reason why soup is the first recommendation for any sick person. This is the ideal way to increase your fluid intake, combat dehydration and take in nutrients without putting too much strain on a sore throat.

Plus, you can make your soup with plenty of healthy and nutritious ingredients such as garlic, cinnamon, turmeric and peppers.

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