The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
You did all the right things to strengthen your immune system this winter, including:
- Sipping on a daily green smoothie for breakfast (Club Fx Pillar #1)
- Incorporating plenty of vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies at lunch and dinner (Club Fx Pillar #2)
- Adding ginger to your smoothie and flavoring your dinner with fresh herbs (Club Fx Pillar #6)
- Taking daily immune-strengthening supplements like Nutritional Roots vitamin D, Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc and Heinen’s vitamin C.
- Keeping your stress levels in check with deep breathing exercises
- Logging a solid eight hours of restful sleep
Yes, you did all of the above and the flu still managed to weasel its way into your precious body. It’s frustrating, I know, but it happens to the best of us.
The good news is that there are things you can do to ease your symptoms and even shorten the “stay” of your unwelcome visitor. The list below contains tried and true solutions to get you through cold and flu season without the side-effects of common over-the-counter products.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Illness causes your body to lose fluid through fever, diarrhea, vomiting, runny nose and coughing, putting you at risk of becoming dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated can also relieve many of your cold and flu symptoms.
If the thought of downing a glass of cold water sends shivers down your spine, drink hot herbal tea or warm water with lemon. Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat tea and Breathe Easy tea are my go-to hot beverages when I’m feeling under the weather.
Eat Chicken Soup
There’s a reason your mom served you a bowl of nourishing chicken soup when you came down with the sniffles (and why my mom still does this today).
It turns out chicken soup may contain substances with beneficial medicinal activity, including an anti-inflammatory mechanism that could ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (1).
Soup improves rehydration and nutrition in the body, too! And let’s not forget the physical comfort it provides, which may have a placebo effect when you’re feeling ill.
PS: To give your immune system a little boost, add fresh parsley to your chicken soup!
Reach for Homeopathic Remedies*
I’m very sensitive to over-the-counter medicine, but I also don’t like to suffer. As cold and flu season approaches, I always make sure to stock up on these safe and effective homeopathic remedies that can be found at your local Heinen’s.
- Boiron ColdCalm targets specific cold symptoms at the onset, established and resolution stages of the common cold. These non-drowsy, meltaway tablets are easy to take at the first sign to relieve sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and minor sore throat pain.
- Boiron Oscillococcinum reduces the duration and severity of flu-related symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue. Easy to take, the slightly sweet pellets dissolve under the tongue and are recommended for everyone ages 2 and up.
- Boiron Chestal Honey combines homeopathic medicines that traditionally treat different types of coughs with the goodness of real honey to soothe the throat. This multi-symptom cough syrup loosens chest congestion with no worry of interaction with other medications.
- Boiron Belladonna relieves high fevers of sudden onset with profuse sweating. Similarly, it can be used for headaches with head congestion. The pellets melt in your mouth and can be taken on-the-go, no food or water needed.
- Zand lozenges are ideal for throat soothing all year round. They are formulated with a proprietary herbal blend and accompanied by vitamin C, zinc or menthol to provide nutritive support for healthy immune function. All varieties of Zand lozenges are free from artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors!
*Please consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or homeopathic remedies.
Sometimes you can check all the preventative boxes and still get sick. That’s life! And while it may not seem fair, I’d like to challenge you to imagine how much more severe that cold or flu would’ve been had you not been doing these things. Thank goodness there are natural, homeopathic remedies to help your body tap into its natural ability to heal itself.