It’s only the beginning and already, this year’s flu season is set to be three times worse than last year.
While some may be lucky enough to dodge the sniffles, sometimes you just get caught out. Unless of course you are in need of medical attention, Peta Teuma, chief naturopath for premium vitamin brand GO Healthy, shares her five favourite tried-and-tested cures when you feel that dreaded cold or flu creep up on you.
Although dishing up a steaming bowl of chicken soup is an old wives’ tale, Peta says there is some merit to it.
“Research has shown a bowl of chicken soup can ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections and reduce inflammation that affects the immune system,” she explains.
While turmeric has been in the news for being a great anti-inflammatory agent to assist with mild joint pain and gut health, Peta explains that the active ingredient, Curcumin, also has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
“Up your Turmeric intake during the winter months either through a supplement or ask for it added to a ‘get well soon’ casserole from loved one,” she suggests.
Manuka honey is high in antioxidants and has an abundance of healing properties including the treatment of wounds and bacterial infections. As a result, Peta reveals that Manuka honey is also a helpful aid in reducing the growth or strep bacteria (the bacteria that causes sore throats).
Peta simply warns that you do need to look at the quality of the Manuka honey you are using. “Manuka’s quality is defined by two key characteristics: its Unique Manuka Honey Factor (UMF) and its levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO), both of which are given a number, with the higher number representing greater strength and efficacy so keep that in mind when purchasing,” she advises. “Add this to a warm drink of fresh lemon (bonus Vitamin C) and grated ginger for a soothing and beneficial hot drink."
Probiotics aren’t just for generating great gut flora, they can also play a part in protecting us from nasty germs that are abundant during this season.
“Seventy percent of our immune system is located in our gut, with bacteria actively communicating with our immune system,” Peta tells. “So, it makes sense that by improving our gut health we in turn improve the strength of our immune system.” And a stronger immune system means that you have a body more equipped to fight off illness.
Peta recommends eating quality fermented foods or consider taking a probiotic supplement like GO Healthy Probiotic 75 Billion.
It may sound very unsurprising, but Peta says that one of the best things you can do for your body while you have a flu or cold is to take a nap.
“During sleep our body has time to recuperate and reset,” she says. “Research shows that sleep helps our immune T cells to attach properly. Put simply, this means our immune system needs rest to be able to fight off viruses.”
So, don’t feel guilty about having that day off work – your body literally needs it.