Colds and flu make their rounds during the colder months when microorganisms flourish, so it’s up to you to be vigilant and protect yourself. Thankfully, there are natural ways you can help boost your immunity and lessen your chances of getting sick this winter. How many times during the winter months do you usually get sick? Let me know in the comments below, and any natural strategies you use to combat illness.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to dodge colds and flu...
Drink Elderberry Syrup
Imagine a beverage that supports our immune system so much that it can help you prevent getting sick, shorten the duration of a sickness AND lessen the severity of the symptoms! Elderberry syrup is a natural blend of elderberries, purified water,
herbs and raw honey which are brewed & reduced into a delicious elixir and tonic drink. This beverage provides a powerful punch to bacterial & virus infections. It is an anti-inflammatory & natural antihistamine, which helps relieve sinus pressure, joint pain & more. Other benefits include support of the heart, respiratory & immune systems. To be most effective, elderberry syrup should be taken daily. It is available on the shelves of your pharmacies, but making it yourself or buying it from someone who makes it is best, to avoid added sugars and thickeners. If you are local to the Richmond, Va area, please know that I am making homemade elderberry syrup bi-monthly, and teaching about it on my Facebook page, Elderberry Love and More and my Instagram page, Elderberry Love and More.
Use probiotic power
With all we now know about the gut biome, eating foods with probiotics is the best way to help keep your immunity strong. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut are just a few probiotic foods to help you out. Make sure you’re always eating plenty of fiber too, as this helps that gut bacteria thrive. If you'd prefer a probiotic supplement instead, there are loads of wonderful ones to choose from to make sure you're getting your daily probiotic needs.
Unfortunately, this time of year is when all those holiday goodies are lurking about. Since sugar feeds illness, it is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants to balance out the sugar-laden foods and beverages. Antioxidant-rich foods are immune boosters that will keep your system fighting all season long. Another warming winter food that will make your soups healthier is bone broth. This one is easy to sneak into your family’s diet without them ever knowing.
The more vitamins you have in your foods this season, particularly vitamin C, the more immunity you’ll have. However, zinc is often forgotten for the powerhouse that it is. Zinc can help stop a cold’s cells from replicating and is a powerful tool to have in your wellness arsenal this season and beyond. You can eat more zinc in spinach, nuts, beans, and pumpkin seeds. There are also zinc supplements you can take daily, or when you're feeling a cold coming on.
Balance activity and sleep
When the germs are swirling around, be sure you’re getting enough exercise as well as getting enough sleep. Compromising on either one can jeopardize your immunity. With the days shorter and quite frigid, getting in bed earlier isn't a hard thing to do.
Sanitize with lavender oil
Soap and warm water are always best for cleaning your hands, but when you’re nowhere near a sink, try lavender oil. It smells great, keeps away germs naturally, and keeps your hands soft and supple even in the frigid winter weather.
Keep it clean
We know hands should be clean and kept from our eyes, nose, and mouth, but don’t forget about those things you use every day that can be contaminated with ease. Your phone, keyboard, desk, and door handles are prime examples. Want one that isn’t full of chemicals? Add purified water and distilled vinegar to a spray bottle in equal parts, and then add a few drops of tea tree oil. Spray away!
There are too many fun events you won't want to miss, and there's no time to spend being sick in bed. Use these natural immunity boosters to live life to the fullest during this season.