I promised you 3 extra tips to prevent and treat flu and colds naturally, so here they are (read the previous tips to fight the flu naturally here). While it is still snowing and freezing in Belgium, even my friends who live in warmer climates such as California or Florida are not immune to the common cold or flu. I hope these extra tips will help you to kick those bad bacteria out and enjoy winter without worrying about a sore throat or headache.
Tip 4: Stay away from refined sugars
We all know that refined sugars trigger weight gain, promote premature aging and cause diabetes. But were you aware that refined sugars are a major cause of colds and flu as well? Consuming refined sugars weakens our immune system and promotes inflammation, making it very hard for our body to attack unwanted bacteria. Are you regularly overcome by intense sugar cravings? Try adding sweet fruits, vegetables and yams to your daily diet and opt for healthy raw vegan desserts sweetened with dried fruits or Stevia to satisfy your sweet tooth. They will boost your energy and protect your immune system at the same time!
Tip 5: Soak up the sun
One of the major reasons why our immune system weakens during wintertime is a chronic vitamin D3 deficiency, due to a lack of direct sunshine. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and fighting off infections in our body. During the months following the winter solstice (the 25th of December), vitamin D levels tend to be at their lowest. This is exactly when millions of people around the world are hit with a cold, or worse: the flu. If you don't have access to regular doses of healthy sun exposure, I strongly advise you to get your blood levels checked by a reliable doctor and to take a high-quality supplement, if necessary.
Tip 6: Pump up the probiotics
Have you ever heard of the expression “immunity begins in the gut”? Healthy gut flora will boost your immune system and inhibit the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria and yeast cells. Adding probiotics or probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut, algae (such as chlorella), miso and tempeh to your daily diet will optimize your gut flora and in turn help you to break down food and absorb the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy and energetic. Check out this recipe for garden blend energy soup if you like the sweet and salty taste of white miso.
To complete this list of natural cures for a sore throat or bad case of flu, my dear friend Marsha – a very talented and incredibly kind raw foodie – send me her most effective cure for a sore throat… So consider this an extra special tip to all of you!
“After Julie sending the helpful info on fighting flu, this is what happened yesterday and I am AMAZED and have to share! Yesterday we went to the dermatologist’s office and when I came home my throat felt like there was a piece of wood stuck at the top. I could feel myself going downhill very fast. I gargled with a mix of apple cider vinegar & honey and took tons of Vitamin C, but nothing seemed to nip this in the bud. Not thinking this would do anything but ease my throat irritation, I took a teaspoon of coconut oil and whoa… immediately I felt better! After a little while I took another teaspoon and felt great. I thought I might wake up with a dry throat, so I put some in a jar beside my bed. Turns out, I never needed it all night long and woke up feeling terrific. Since coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, I really wanted to share this - just in case it could help someone else.”
I am sure it will, so thank you Marsha!
Do you have other tips to prevent and treat flu and colds naturally? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you! In the meanwhile, enjoy your week and talk to you soon.