There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to protect yourself during cold and flu season, as it may vary somewhat depending on the individual. However, some general tips would include:
- Wash your hands frequently. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, or after being around someone who is sick. (Don’t over-use antibacterial soaps though.)
- Avoid touching your face. Cold and flu viruses can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible if there is sickness in your locality, especially if you haven’t washed your hands recently.
- Get enough sleep. Amazingly getting enough sleep bolsters your immune system. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to fight off infection. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can help boost your immune system. Make sure to also include plenty of water/fluids and healthy fats in your diet. Stay away from sugars and refined carbs as much as possible!
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is another great way to boost your immune system. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week can improve your overall health.
In addition to the above tips, there are a number of natural remedies that may possibly help to protect against cold and flu. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help boost the immune system and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Good food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower…..or you can try a vitamin capsule.
- Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that is essential for a healthy immune system. It may also help to shorten the duration of a cold. It can be found alone or in other vitamin formulas.
- Elderberry. Elderberry is a fruit that has antiviral properties. It may help to prevent and treat the common cold and flu. Elderberry is available as a syrup, lozenge, or capsule.
- Echinacea. Echinacea is a herb that has been shown to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of developing a cold or flu. Echinacea is available as a tea, tincture, or capsule.
It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of some of these natural remedies. However, they are generally considered to be safe and may be worth trying if you are looking for a natural way to protect against cold and flu.
If you do get sick, there are several natural foods and spices that may help your symptoms resolve faster. Some of the most commonly used products include:
- Raw Honey. Honey that has not been heated has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can be taken on its own or added to lemon juice, vinegar, or warm water to soothe a sore throat.
- Ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory antiviral and digestive properties. It can be taken as a tea, capsule, or lozenge.
- Garlic. Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or taken as a supplement. You can even buy it in an odorless supplement if the smell bothers you.
- Salt water gargle. Gargling with salt water can help to soothe a sore throat and loosen mucus. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds several times a day.
If you have any concerns about using natural remedies to protect against or treat cold and flu, be sure to talk to your doctor.