Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best of 2011: #7 3+ Things to Help Fight Cold and Flu

As 2011 comes to a close, I continue my review of the top 10 posts of the year.

Please be sure to participate in the poll on the right sidebar if you haven't yet. 

The number seven most viewed post of 2011 was 3+ Things to Help Fight Cold and Flu from October 3, 2011.


(c) 8/2009, Kathy Fannon; Purple Cauliflower from my farmers market!

I’m already seeing (and hearing) it. Coughs, sniffles, sneezes. It’s only the first of October and already the cold and flu season is starting. Nooooo!

It’s not too late to boost your immune system to help fight off these bad dudes of winter. Look for these foods at your local farmers market or grocery store produce section and add them to your meals.

You don’t need tons and tons, but try to add an extra serving or two per day. And even if you do get a cold or the flu, your ‘bounce back’ time will at least be shortened.

1. Fall sources of vitamin C:

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, spinach, pineapple, and tomatoes (still available until we get a couple of freezes).

  • Vitamin C also helps with acne, asthma, depression, diabetes, and IBS.

2. Fall sources of zinc:

sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds (raw), yogurt, turkey, peas

  • Zinc also helps with balanced blood sugar, weak immune system, taste and smell support, depression, and metabolic rate.

3. Sources of Omega-3:

Salmon (WILD, not farm raised!), olive oil, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds or a cod liver oil supplement

  • Omega-3 also helps with depression, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry skin, joint pain. 

Other fabulous things to keep on hand for this time of year are:

Echinacea drops: I take ten drops in the morning to keep my immune system healthy during the winter months. At the first sign of sniffles, I up it to 30 drops (50 if it’s bad) twice a day until the cold subsides.

  • A. Vogel brand is the best and I don't even know what the price is. I think this is only available at the health-food store, but I’m not sure. I get it from my Doc’s office, usually with a list of other items. (I think it's around $20, depending on the size bottle.) If you can’t find A. Vogel, at least look for the drops as opposed to pill form. Drops are more potent.

Oscillococcinum (OSC): This stuff is AMAZING! These sweet, sugary tasting pellets come in a 6-dose box. At the first sign of the flu (aches, tiredness, fever, etc) take a couple of doses (per instructions) and you’ll recover in no time. I can’t believe more people don’t use this stuff! (Available at the health-food store, grocery store and Target, and probably other places. Priced around $15.)

Other things you can do:
  • Reduce refined sugar intake. (One serving of soda can drop the immune system by 30%!)

  • Get 7 - 9 hours of rest each night.

  • Reduce stress to the extent possible.

  • Avoid processed food.
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Read my previous post: Best of 2011: #8 Grocery List
Read my next post: Best of 2011: #6 The Great Allergy Experiment