Remember last year? That terrible sore throat? Headache? Fever? That cough that just wouldn’t go away? The cold and flu season is here and based on trends from previous years, it’s just getting started.
At this time of year we spend more time indoors making viruses easier to spread. While frequent hand washing is an important way to reduce the risk of exposure to germs, strengthening our own immune system is the best way to reduce the risk of getting sick.
Here are three essential steps to avoid the cold and flu this season:
1. A Healthy Gut In Cold Weather
With 80% of our immune cells residing in our digestive tract, a healthy gut equals a healthy immune system. In addition, cooler weather requires us to make a few changes to our diet. These cold weather adjustments make a huge difference to strengthening your immune system, increasing energy and reducing digestive symptoms like gas and bloating.
a. choose easy to digest and nutritious foods
i. bone broth – easy to digest, healing to your gut lining, containing calcium, magnesium, glucosamine and more, it’s a home-made multivitamin!
ii. cooked/warm seasonal vegetables
b. avoid excessive
i. dairy and sugar as they build up phlegm and inflammation
ii. raw/cold foods and drinks – In Chinese Medicine, our digestion is thought of as a fire that burns up foods to digest it. Too much raw or cold foods can snuff out this fire and slow digestion resulting in low energy, a heavy sensation in the body and bloating.
2. Cover the back of your neck
As the weather cools down, you’ll often see me wearing a scarf. This is because in Chinese Medicine, colds and flus are a result of “wind” getting into your body and this most often happens through the area at the back of the neck (also called the “wind gate”); keep your neck covered especially when there is a breeze.
3. As soon as you start to feel the initial stages of a cold or flu such as a sore/scratchy throat and fever take ColdQuell right away. This Chinese herbal formula reduces excess heat in the body and quickly reduces symptoms. They are in capsule form so they are easy to take without any unpleasant taste. I keep a bottle handy at home for the first sign of symptoms in myself or my family.