- By Deanna Segrave-Daly
- In 2018
- January 17, 2018
Food and Remedies To Help Fight Cold and Flu Season
Try these natural remedies from a registered dietitian to ward off this season’s colds and flu!
This time of year kicks off the height of cold and flu season. As much as we try to avoid those germs; they are everywhere!
Good gut health is an important part of your immune system so I’m sharing my home remedies to help battle cold season and improve gut health. Some of these remedies are evidence-based supplements or foods and some are not completely scientifically proven but research has shown them to be helpful. I can personally attest to have seen the benefit in all of them.
Garlic has been used for food and medicine dating back thousands of years. Garlic is used as a dietary supplement for many purposes, including high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the common cold.
The evidence is conflicting if it does actually improve these conditions but I have personally been using it for the common cold for years and feel that I see a benefit. Garlic is bursting with great nutritional benefits.
The success I have seen with using raw garlic during a cold is lessening both the duration and the symptoms. Raw garlic can be pretty potent by itself so I recommend taking it on a spoonful of nut butter to help drown out the burn. The biggest side effect is heartburn so make sure you have Tums on hand as well.
This is my favorite herbal tea of all time. It has a great taste and is very soothing for sore
throats. I drink it anytime I am sick! The slippery elm is supposed to be soothing for the throat.
Probiotics (in the form of kombucha or yogurt/kefir)
I always try to make sure I’m replenishing my body with healthy bacteria to boost my immune system. Some fermented foods don’t always taste good when I’m sick so I usually stick with a yogurt drink of some sort and kombucha.
Bonus points for getting ginger flavor kombucha since ginger is an antibacterial agent.
Studies have found that zinc can help shorten the duration of a cold. While you generally can’t prevent yourself from becoming sick, at least you can hopefully shorten the amount of time you will be sick.
I found zinc lozenges from whole foods that also have Vitamin C so I always take those when I have a cold but I have friends that take Zicam. Also, supplements tend to make me sick so I always take these with food.
Sometimes exercise cannot be tolerated when you have a cold. I believe the rule is as long as it’s not in your chest you are good to go. I personally say go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel good, then don’t do it. Never push yourself when you are sick or injured. Usually, a day off and getting more rest can be even more beneficial.
What do you do when you are sick?? Do you take any supplements or have any home
Jess DeGore, RD is based in Philadelphia and specializes in nutrition counseling, brand and business consulting and corporate wellness. She blogs at Dietitian Jess. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.