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Natural Ways to Protect Yourself from Seasonal Cold and Flu

cold flu health tips

'Tis the season of illness.  If it is not you that is sick, it is probably someone you know - and if you have kids, good luck, you may be fighting the cold and flu all winter long.  So what to do about it? Keeping your stress levels low, eating infection fighting foods, and pushing those toxins out in any way possible are all great ways to not only fight a cold but to prevent one from coming on.

Avoiding stressful situations is key, since the immune system is weakened during emotional or mental stress, if you are stressed out then you will be especially prone to falling ill.

  • Get in those 8 hours of sleep as often as possible - preferably in a room that is dark and cool in temperature.
  • Get out of the house and go for a walk – the beautiful brisk air will boost your immune system, give you energy, and boost your mood overall.  Make this a habit and you will become a happier and healthier person as an added bonus!
  • Relax in a steamy hot Epsom salt bath - Ahhh that sounds nice doesn't it? The obvious result is that this will make you happy and stress free, but what's even better is that the magnesium in the salts are absorbed through your skin which will relax your entire nervous system, reduce overall inflammation, draw nasty toxins from the body and reduce that insufferable congestion. 

4 Tips to Reduce Congestion

Aside from the epsom salt bath mentioned above, here are 4 more fabulous tips on how to rid yourself of a stuffy nose.

  1. Gargle with warm water and sea salt - this breaks up mucus and can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat.
  2. Hydrate - drinking warm liquids helps to open up your stuffy nose and soothe a sore throat (water, herbal teas and other hot liquids are your best options).  
  3. Sleep with an extra pillow - place under your head for better drainage
  4. Blow your nose – not just because it is running, but to get those germs out as much as possible

Recipe: Bone Broth Soup

You might be asking yourself - what’s so special about bone broth? And you might have been hearing about this a lot lately, but this isn’t Campbell's chicken noodle soup we are talking about here.  The nourishment in bone broth comes from the quality of the animal it came from.  It is best to use organic grass-fed chicken/chicken bones and as the bones cook in the hot water numerous health boosting vitamins and minerals are released into the broth - the natural gelatin, collagen, glucosamine, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus all have excellent healing powers such as:

  • Fights infection and inflammation
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation
  • Heals the stomach and aids digestion
  • Repair bones and make them stronger
  • Also good for your skin, nails, hair, and teeth!

Eat Infection Fighting Foods

Sugars and carbs can feed infection of any kind.  It is best to REMOVE all sugars and carbs from your diet at sign of first symptom until well and focus on foods that help build the immune system and feed good gut bacteria.

  • Spicy meals (such as Indian food) can open sinuses, and help break up mucus. Chili peppers are renowned for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as their ability to clear the sinuses. 
  • Protein - helps build immune cells
  • Herbs - ginger, garlic, curry: these spices can help get rid of germs from the system and clear the airways.
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother”- alkalizes the body and kills any yeast that can be feeding infection.

Steaming Hot Shower, Bath or Infrared Sauna

Why infrared? Because its radiant heat is known to penetrate the skin more deeply than traditional saunas, better aiding in a number of restorative body processes. But saunas and hot baths in general can speed recovery from colds and reduce their occurrence by providing the following benefits:

  • heat improves drainage and relax tight muscles and easing minor aches and pains
  • high temperatures help weaken the cold and flu viruses.
  • sweating helps flush out toxins from the body
  • increased circulation will help lower blood pressure, and make you feel good all over

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