NERD ALERT: 3 Tips for Combatting Cold & Flu Season
It’s that time of year! The kiddies are back in school, the leaves are changing their hue, and it’s time to start getting into that fall spirit. And as exciting as it all is, we all know there’s just one (not-so-small) price to pay...yep, grab your Kleenex folks, it’s cold and flu season.
So how do you shield yourself from those pesky germs? I got you. Follow these 3 tried-and-true tips to skip the sickness and get back to enjoying the flannels, football, and fresh fall air.
- First, stock your pantries with the granddaddy of super herbs, elderberry! 😊 Not only is this ancient folk remedy incredible for your immune system, but it’s packed to the brims with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote wellness from the inside out. Plus, it’s delicious! Create your own yummy syrup from the berries (pancakes anyone?), brew your own immunizing tea from the flowers, or enjoy the ease of gummies, capsules, or tinctures. The more the merrier! In fact, studies have shown that those who regularly consume elderberry have higher levels of antibodies against the influenza virus, which can help reduce and defend against cold and flu-like symptoms exponentially. And what if you’ve already caught the cold? Not to worry – randomized studies have indicated that consuming this antiviral herb can actually shorten the duration of the virus by 2-4 days – which means you can get right back to your Halloween movie marathon sans the sniffles.
- Second, pop, lock, and drop vitamin C and D on the reg. Known for their ability to boost immunity and well-being, these vitamins are essential for keeping our bodies functioning at their very best. By taking your daily, doctor-recommended dose of vitamin C (typically 500mg) and vitamin D (typically 400-1000mg), you may be able to stop that sickness from brewing. For example, studies have shown that regularly consuming vitamin D can aid in the prevention of acute respiratory tract infection. Plus, as we begin to approach daylight savings time and cooler temperatures, our time in the sun naturally decreases, and with that, our critical vitamin D levels. Therefore, prioritizing vitamin D consumption can be incredibly beneficial in keeping our immune systems intact. And vitamin C? A powerful antioxidant, this ascorbic acid fights free radicals, which may inhibit certain diseases from spreading and decrease the length of that pesky cold. So next time you feel a sickness coming on, don’t forget to stock up on your C’s and D’s!
- Third, WASH YOUR HANDS, PEOPLE! This may seem like a no-brainer, but oddly enough most people skip this very important step. Washing your hands with warm, soapy water for about a minute, multiple times a day, is one of the most effective things you can do to prevent a virus from spreading. And sorry to break it to you, but antibacterials and hand sanitizers just won’t cut it! So, whether you sneeze or cough or shake hands with a friendly stranger, do yourself (and your immune system) a favor and go wash up!