While some parts of the U.S. still feel as if they’re in the middle of summer, it doesn’t change the fact that winter is around the corner, and with it comes flu and cold season. Coughing fits, sore throats, and runny noses are never fun and can be incredibly frustrating, but, fortunately, there are many ways to help alleviate these common winter ailments, including certain vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
The latter especially has grown in popularity in the last couple of years, with many opting for natural remedies like Manuka honey to go with medicine prescribed by their physicians or general OTC medications. There may not be a cure for the flu or the common cold, but there are at least ways of preventing them and relieving symptoms. In case you’re in need this coming winter, here is how you can fight colds and the flu.
As an old favorite for fighting colds, vitamin C is known for helping to improve the immune system. According to Emily Rollason, a nutritionist with Holland and Barrett, “When you feel the symptoms coming on, don’t just think you can shake it off. Get on the front foot with vitamin C on the very first day the symptoms appear…Taking a vitamin C supplement straightaway has been shown to be the most likely way to reduce the length of your cold.” If you have a cold, you can try getting a vitamin C boost through supplements or through consuming vitamin C-rich foods and drinks the old-fashioned way.
According to Rollason, vitamin D has the ability to trigger T-cells, which are for fighting infections, within the body—an especially important fact when suffering from a cold or the flu. “If you don’t get enough vitamin D, these cells lie dormant and may not be sufficient to tackle the bug. During winter, the sun’s rays aren’t powerful enough to give us the vitamin D we need. Make sure you keep your levels topped up with a supplement.” Should you prefer getting vitamin D from food sources, you can try salmon, sardines, tuna, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, or mushrooms.
While many have spoken to the positive effects honey can have on the body, Manuka honey is allegedly said to pack the greater punch regarding the ability to fight off infection. According to Dr. Young Mee, who works as a consultant for Manuka honey-related businesses, “Because Manuka is anti-microbial, it can help with a host of health conditions.
When buying a pot of Manuka honey, you’ll notice lots of different numbers on the label. These numbers identify the potency of the methylglyoxal (MGO) inside – basically, the higher the number, the higher the anti-microbial effect.” Whether you use it for hot tea or as a topping on toast, a little Manuka honey during a bad case of the flu or a cold never hurt anyone!
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Photo By stokkete