How to Prevent a Cold or the Flu

Today I want to talk about how to prevent a cold or the flu naturally.  Growing up, I used to get a cold or the flu about twice a year.  While I was really sick with Celiac, it felt like I had a cold or the flu literally ALL the time. It was like my immune system was off in Mexico while I was stuck in Toronto.  Back then I kind of thought getting sick was just part of life and was totally normal.  I mean, most people get knocked out at some point, right?  And realistically, getting to spend the day in bed with an entire season of some Netflix show isn’t the WORST.  Well, turns out I was wrong! It’s not normal to get sick and it’s way better to spend the day in bed with an entire season of Netflix WITHOUT a cold!

After last winter, it occurred to me that I couldn’t actually remember the last time I got sick.  And, as another year passes, I still haven’t had a cold or the flu (I am obviously knocking on wood as I write this, just in case). 🙂 Coincidentally, I stopped getting the cold or the flu once I cleaned up my diet, and made a few small changes.

Here is what you need to know to prevent a cold or the flu:

1) Probiotics

If I had to tell people to take one supplement, it would be probiotics.  I’ve done another post entirely on probiotics here, but will give you the quick reason.  Probiotics help balance out the good and bad bacteria in your gut.  A large portion of your immune system is in your gut, and if you have too much bad bacteria (poor diet, stress, sugar, alcohol) then you don’t have enough good bacteria to fight the virus.  By taking a probiotic, you’re giving your gut more of the ‘good’ bacteria which is exactly what can fight off the illness.  I take a probiotic daily that is a 10 billion dosage.  If you’ve never taken them be aware that the first couple of days you might experience some gas/bloating but that is completely normal and will go away.  It’s actually a sign that you’re killing off the bad guys.

2)  Fermented Foods

Building off the probiotics above, fermented foods contain natural probiotics.  Here’s a list that you can start to incorporate into your diet:

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh (organic)
  • Miso

3) Garlic

Maybe keep your toothbrush close for this one.  My recommendation is to eat a lot of garlic, and if it’s raw (i.e. more potent), even better.  Garlic contains a natural sulfur compound called allicin that is anti-microbial and antiviral.  I’ve done a whole post on garlic here as it’s an incredibly HEALing food!  My quinoa salad recipe or my garlic scape pesto recipe both call for a hefty dose of garlic.

4) Cinnamon

This might be a slightly more pleasant option than garlic haha!  Like garlic, cinnamon is very anti-microbial.  A study conducted with E.Coli showed that 1 teaspoon of cinnamon was enough to kill 99.5% of the bacteria in 3 days. Cinnamon also tastes delicious, and is blood sugar balancing!

5) Raw Honey

It’s common knowledge to put some honey in your tea if you feel like you’re coming down with the flu.  I agree that this is great, but want to advise you to make sure you’re using raw honey, as regular honey has been heated so much that most of the health benefits are gone.

Leave a comment letting me know what your natural cold/flu prevention tips are.

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