Medical &Health

Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu in this Winter

Cold and flu season is upon us. In fact, it starts as early as October! Sometimes people think they have the “flu”, but it can be really a bad chest cold or other respiratory illness. If anyone is coughing so hard that they throw up from the deep expelling of air, if the fever is 100 with a sign of breaking through ibuprofen/ Tylenol or the person can’t stop sneezing then the person might have attacked with flu and cold. If anyone catches one of these viruses and before it turns into something worse that can land a patient in the hospital, the person may seek remedies as soon as possible. Further, there are natural ways to prevent such colds and flu in the winter.

The Common Natural Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu in the Winter

The following part of this article will show you some effective natural ways to avoid catching a cold or getting ill with flu in the cold season. If you read on, you will find out which foods can help boost your immune system and fight off the nasty germs that spread when temperatures start to fall.

Vitamin C

It is probably known by everyone that vitamin C is good for boosting our immune system, but not all of us know that it has an antiviral effect too! Vitamin C helps our body to produce white blood cells more quickly, which is the main part of the immune system. According to researches, people with low level of vitamin C are more likely to get upper respiratory tract infections (like cold or flu) than those who have enough vitamin C in their body. Oranges, limes, leafy greens, grapefruits and vegetables are an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Zinc

This mineral boosts the immune system in a variety of ways. First of all, it helps white blood cells fight against viruses, bacteria and fungi. Secondly, zinc increases the number of interferons produced in our body, these are proteins which help us fight off infections more quickly. Thirdly, zinc is believed to block receptors in the nose or airways which are responsible for influenza virus entering inside of our bodies while we breathe. Taking 8-11mg of zinc per day is recommended for the immune system during cold months, but be careful if you take too much – it can cause nausea and vomiting.

Garlic

An herb that boosts the immune system since it contains powerful ingredients called allicin, which stimulate production of white blood cells. It’s also good to eat raw garlic because cooking may destroy its healing properties. Hence, adding garlic in the diet will reduce the severity of cold.

Echinacea

It is an herb derived from purple coneflower plants, which can trigger the production of white blood cells in order to fight off colds and flu. Research shows that a group of chemicals called cichoric acid derivatives are important for the effectiveness of echinacin. These chemicals appear to prevent bacteria from attaching themselves to cells lining our respiratory tract, thus preventing disease-causing bacteria from gaining access into our bodies. They also seem to stop viruses from multiplying and may even prevent them from getting into cells in the first place. Taking echinacea can reduce the risk of developing a common cold by 50%.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking water will help flush toxins from your system so it’s a must to have a glass or 2 of water every day during wintertime. Hot teas, soups, etc are good too as they also help stimulate perspiration which is a natural way to cleanse the body from harmful toxins.

Tips for the Children and Aged People

For children and adults winter colds and flu is very much like summer colds and flu. The main difference between winter illnesses is that colds, sinus infections, ear infections, cough, etc. do occur during this time of year. However, people tend to think they can’t get sick in the winter because it’s cold outside! In fact, anyone might even get sicker from being outside for a short amount of time if the immune system isn’t strong enough to fight off germs.

Since children and aged people have relatively weak immune systems, they should be taken extra care of. Like adults, children and aged people should be given plenty of vitamin C and Zinc. Perhaps, vitamin C is the key element for them to fight cold and flu during the winter. Apart from these, they should get plenty of sunshine. Exposure to even low levels of sunlight has been shown to improve mood, energy level, sleep patterns, memory, and immunity against viral illness.

Tips for the People who are Already Affected

The common cold is a viral respiratory illness that can be spread from person to person when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Hence, it is suggested to avoid unnecessary visits & crowds. Try not to go out or visit crowded places when you are sick because it can worsen your condition if you get exposed to new germs from other people.

Further, drinking licorice tea can also help people who already suffer from azama, pneumonia, flu, or other respiratory illness. This natural herb has antiviral properties which help fight off colds & flu, plus it also provides respiratory relief & expectorant too (i.e. helps remove phlegm).

Be friendly with the immune system. The immune system can easily get exhausted or weakened if triggered too often, so train your immune system by eating more fruits & vegetables which are good sources of vitamins and minerals. If you already got the flu/cold this wintertime, don’t forget to take Vitamin C supplements every day! Also, eat chicken soup to help fight off flu and other infections. On top of that, exercise is also necessary. So, exercise at least 3-5 times a week to help trigger the production of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in order to strengthen the immune system against infections.

Final Words

If anyone gets affected by cold and flu in the winter despite following the above ways, the patient should see a physician to know what is best for their health. Doctors may want to prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce symptoms.

Source: United News of Bangladeshy