How to protect ourselves healthily from colds and flu in the cold season?
We are in the season when the incidence of colds and flu increases and drugs can not cure them, but only shorten their duration. It is much easier to prevent than to treat, especially since nature provides us with various remedies that contribute to the prevention and amelioration of these diseases. By combining a healthy lifestyle with the power of plants and natural products, you will improve your overall condition and help your body gain more strength in the fight against seasonal viruses.
The cold is caused by viruses that we inhale or contract by physical contact and are manifested by sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and clogging.
Flu viruses cause a contagious respiratory disease commonly called influenza. Influenza complications include viral and secondary bacterial pneumonia.
Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold and include (but are not limited to): fever and / or chills, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat.
Natural approaches can help your body resist infections and recover faster if you get sick.
How do we protect ourselves from colds and flu?The first step is a
Limiting disease exposure by avoiding germs is the key to staying healthy. Here are some ways to practice good hygiene:
- Frequent washing of hands with water and soap is one of the most important preventive measures. Wash your hands for 20 seconds and clean under your fingernails to kill viruses. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands first. The nose and eyes are the most common places through which germs can enter the body, so it is best to avoid touching your face;
- Remember that drying is as important as washing, as viruses are more likely to spread on wet surfaces;
- Keep your hand sanitizer close to you. If you do not have a sink with running water and soap, disinfect your hands with gels or alcohol-based wet wipes. Read the label before you buy. Look for wipes and gels with at least 60% alcohol, which are more effective at killing germs than those without alcohol;
- Flu viruses can generally survive on surfaces for 24 hours, according to the National Health Service. This leaves enough time for the germs to spread among the family members. A single sick child can transmit a disease to the whole family in a suitable setting. To avoid the spread of germs, keep personal items (toothbrushes, towels, utensils, drinking glasses) separate. If in doubt, opt for disposable mugs, utensils and towels. You should also frequently disinfect keyboards, telephones, door knobs and remote controls.
Wear a protective mask
You have frequently heard this recommendation in recent months in response to COVID-19, but wearing a mask in public - especially this year (2020) - is not a bad idea, even for the cold and flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that almost all children and healthy adults wear a mask, except children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove their mask without assistance.
These are official recommendations to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but because corona virus and flu are spread in very similar ways (through infected respiratory drops), masks can also be helpful when protecting yourself from seasonal flu.
You can protect yourself by preparing a spray with propolis and essential oils against viruses, ideal for a protective mask.
You will not always be able to avoid viral infections. Instead, you can significantly strengthen your body's self-defense potential. For this purpose, we offer below some useful suggestions.
Exercise can support the immune system by increasing circulation. This allows antibodies to circulate faster through the bloodstream, which helps the immune system fight a disease. Exercise can also improve your immune system by slowing the release of stress hormones in your body.
Get moderate exercise - even a 30-minute walk a day, but make sure you don’t overdo it.
Opt for a balanced and vitamin-rich diet
Pay attention to foods rich in vitamins, especially in the cold season. Daily food should contain a lot of vitamin C. Wholemeal bread, as well as dairy products are a valuable support for the immune system. Eat enough fruits and vegetables. Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates.
Drink enough fluids constantly. Drinking fluids protects the mucous membranes, prevents them from drying out and makes them resistant to infections.
Your intestine is the gateway to health, because almost 80% of the immune system is in the intestine. Consuming probiotics keeps your gut levels good to help fight infections. Supplements, yogurt and kefir are three ways to add probiotics to your diet.
Keep a positive attitude
New research has found that happiness can help you fight colds and flu. Implement a daily stress reduction program.
Your body relies on sleep to recover from daily exposure to toxins. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly reduce immune function.
When you’re tired, your body doesn’t fight as hard. Specialists suggest a sleep of 7-9 hours a night to keep you fit.
Support your immune system
Immunity can be helped by various lifestyle-related methods: a healthy diet, proper hydration, a balanced sleep, quitting smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, eliminating stress, going to the sauna, sunbathing and resorting to natural supplements (adaptogenic plants).
Avoid smoking because it increases the risk of infections through structural changes in the respiratory tract and decreased immune response.
Do not overheat the house. Of course, no one wants to suffer from the cold in winter, but on the other hand, excessive heating is not recommended, because the hot and dry air in the rooms makes you vulnerable to the aggression of viruses.
Cigarette smoke and dry air in heated rooms overheat the airways and irritate the mucous membranes. That is why it is important to maintain a proper climate in the rooms. For example, you can increase the humidity by placing towels soaked in water and then squeezed on the radiators.
Keep your airways moist and clean, staying well hydrated. If necessary, you can use the benefits of salt. You can use a saline nasal cleansing system. Keep your throat moist and clean by gargling with salt water or using a homemade spray balm for upper respiratory ways.
A healthy and delicious alternative can also be the natural homemade drops.
Natural supplements and natural remedies to prevent flu and colds
Vitamin C can help prevent the flu, as it helps the immune system to function and increases white blood cells.
An excellent way to increase your vitamin C level is to eat fruits and vegetables daily, including lemon, bell pepper, leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, oranges, tomatoes and green peas.
You can try our tonic with honey and lemon to maintain a high level of vitamin C.
Vitamin D is produced in the body by sunlight and is beneficial to the immune system, thus helping to reduce the risk of catching the flu. Recent research shows that low levels of vitamin D are correlated with higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections.
Vitamin D is also found in: fatty fish - salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel - red meat, liver, egg yolk.
Constantly consumed, honey increases immunity against allergens and prevents cold and flu. All varieties of honey are good, but the most popular with a strong antibacterial, vitaminized, immuno-stimulating role is polyfloral honey. However, from an antibacterial, antibiotic point of view, Manuka honey stands out the most. Originally from New Zealand, it is considered a superfood due to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral role (it can prevent seasonal illnesses or soothe specific).
Royal jelly is rich in nutrients and collagen, thus increasing immunity and preventing colds. Try to prepare and consume this immuno-stimulating bee cocktail presented on the site. It will also give you extra energy for the whole day.
Propolis extract forms a natural barrier against viruses and can prevent colds.
Pollen strengthens the immune system.
Its content of antioxidants strengthens the body's immune response at contact with viruses or bacteria. In addition, pollen contains natural antibiotics that help fight colds or flu infections: bronchitis, cough etc.
Due to the high concentrations of vitamin C it contains, sea buckthorn is considered the natural protector of the immune system. Thus, sea buckthorn therapies are recommended during the cold season because vitamin C prepares the body to withstand cold or flu viruses.
Discover on our website some natural remedies whose main ingredient is sea buckthorn: sea buckthorn tea, energizing sea buckthorn juice and aronia, sea buckthorn juice with ginger, sea buckthorn juice with lemon, sea buckthorn oil, sea buckthorn macerate.
Pine or fir buds
Pine and fir buds contain volatile oils (pine, lemon, borneol), tannins, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and sodium salts. The active substances in the composition of pine and fir buds have decongestant effects on the airways, making it easier to breathe. They support the proper functioning of the respiratory system.
Recommended for all age groups, the syrup from pine buds or fir buds is ideal especially for people frequently exposed to diseases, due to a low immune system.
Ginger is a food with special properties and benefits on the body's health, attested by specialized studies. From supporting immunity in the fight against a number of bacteria to intensifying metabolism, ginger is a reliable help in preventing flu and cold. Try to prepare and consume some of our recipes: garlic and ginger tea, ginger juice, sea buckthorn macerate with ginger, chokeberry syrup with ginger.
Certain types of of essential oils extracted from plants protect against viruses and bacteria. Tea tree oil is the best example. Studies have shown that this oil slows down or even stops the rate of the virus from multiplying.
Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic product that relieves or prevents the symptoms of cold and flu. A single dose vial per week during the period of flu exposure is used as a preventive treatment.
Stay away from crowds
Colds do not depend on the weather, but on contact with the source of infection. Most colds caused by viruses are transmitted through virus-contaminated nasal secretions. Those who have a cold touch their respiratory mucosa several times a day, contaminate their hands and then infect others by touching them.
Build immunity with seasonal flu vaccines
Please consult your doctor about this, especially if you are in a high-risk group (such as the elderly, young children and people with congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes). All this together can support a strong immunity. A healthy and rational lifestyle protects us from disease.