Cold and Flu

10 Holiday Flu-Fighting Heroes

‘Tis the Season for last minute trips to the mall, late night wrapping sessions, fatty holiday meals, and don’t forget all of the family and financial stress that lead to lost sleep! It’s little wonder why most of us come down with the flu at some point before Christmas.

Sure, though there are over-the-counter cough and cold remedies that you can use to battle through, but many folks prefer more natural flu remedies when their bodies are already weak and sick.

So prepare your family for the long, miserable cold and flu season ahead with the following ten natural holiday immune boosters and flu-fighting heroes…

1. Garlic

Fighting flues and blood sucking vampires with just one single clove, garlic packs a strong punch thanks to the immune-boosting sulfur compounds, alliin and allicin. Both are known for their natural antibiotic prowess and ability to inhibit bacteria growth, yeast, and fungi, and reduce general cold and flu symptoms.

2. Green Tea

Antioxidant-rich green tea boosts immune function, which makes it an efficient flu prevention and fighter. Consume it any chance you get in hot and cold beverage form, as well as in capsule form. So this winter, I recommend subbing that second cup of coffee with green tea—especially if you feel like you’re coming down with something.

3. Honey

Studies show that nature’s sweet stuff, especially buckwheat honey, can do its part to reduce coughs by coating and soothing irritated throats. It’s also known for its soothing properties—a teaspoon of honey in a cup of herbal tea can reduce a stubborn cough at bedtime and help you sleep.

4. Chicken Soup

It turns out that mom’s cure-all for the cold and flu isn’t just a nice, warm hug for the soul; it’s also rich in vitamin A, which naturally boosts the body’s immunity against foreign invaders. Plus, you can incorporate so much into a bowl of chicken soup to boost its flu-fighting prowess—carrots, which are an excellent source of beta-carotene, as well as antibacterial-rich onions and garlic!

5. Elderberries

Oranges have nothing on elderberries! These little, purple bundles pack a strong vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, flavonoid, and polyphenol punch—which not only ease inflammation, but also stop influenza A (or H1N1) and B viruses dead in their tracks!

6. Hot Peppers

Coming down with a runny nose? Well then it’s time to turn up the heat…not in your home, but in your food! Capsaicin, the natural compound found in hot peppers, will instantly clear those nasal passages to help you breathe better and get rid of germs. So add a pinch of chopped or dried chilies to a hearty bowl of soup or stew to ease cold congestion.

7. Spices

Spices, like cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, and cloves and super rich in antioxidants, which boost the immune system and help ward off the flu. If you feel a tickle or a cough coming on, mix a pinch of cinnamon or cloves into your morning oatmeal, coffee, or hot apple cider to prevent flu from setting in.

8. Echinacea

This traditional remedy used by Native Americans contains polysaccharides, which have antiviral and antibacterial properties and boost infection-fighting white blood cells. Taking just 3 grams of Echinacea purpurea (in tea or supplement form) each day can help reduce flu symptoms and put you on the path to recovery.

9. Yogurt

We already know that yogurt promotes healthy bacteria growth in the digestive system, but perhaps you didn’t know this: immune function occurs in the digestive tract!

10. Rest

The best thing you can do for your body and mind when you’re sick is to give yourself adequate rest in order to recoup from the flu. So be sure to get enough zzz’s this holiday to build up the strength and natural immunity to fight off a pending cold or flu.

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