Dreading a winter cold or flu? Here we recommend the best natural remedies to beat a cold and keep well this winter.
Winter is the time of year many of us look forward to with the Christmas festivities looming.
However, the cold dark season brings with it the fear of the dreaded winter cold or flu which many of us fall victim to.
To help prevent you getting ill over the winter period, we’ve suggested the best natural remedies that will keep your immune system strong so you can beat the winter cold with ease.
Vitamin C is age-old favourite for boosting your immune system when you’re feeling run-down.
According to a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism Journal, Vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of colds due to its immune-enhancing effects. Indeed, Vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections so you can get over your nasty cold faster.
Vitamin C can even stop you from catching colds altogether as research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that taking a daily Vitamin C supplement reduced the frequency of catching a cold.
Echinacea is a medicinal herb that works to keep your immune system strong and well, helping to prevent colds.
In fact, research published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal concluded that Echinacea can cut the risk of catching the common cold by a whopping 58% and can even reduce the duration of a cold by an average of 1.4 days.
This is great to take at the first signs of a cold to help prevent it and/or make it shorter.
Elderberry is believed to have many medicinal benefits and Elderberry juice was in fact used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.
Elderberries have a high antioxidant level and are rich in essential vitamins A and C which help boost the immune system to prevent colds, flu and other infections from developing.
According to a study published in the Journal of International Medical Research, flu patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of four days faster than those not taking the supplement.
Therefore, Elderberries decrease the length and severity of flu symptoms, helping your immune system to fight illness.
Vitamin D has many health benefits and is often referred to the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it’s produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
However, as the winter months are normally cold and dark with very little sunlight, we tend to lack Vitamin D at this time of year leaving our bodies to fall prey to a weakened immune system and a horrible winter cold.
Indeed, a study published in the Nature Immunology Journal found that Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defences and that without sufficient intake of it, the killer cells of the immune system – T cells – are not able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body. Therefore, it is believed that Vitamin D ‘triggers and arms the immune system’ so we can fight off colds and flu.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil is a wonder product as it is richer in Vitamins D & A than anything else which makes it great for fighting colds. Indeed, these essential vitamins work to keep your immune system at its strongest and healthiest.
Cod liver oil is also extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids which the body needs to function properly and fight off inflammation. Therefore, this supplement helps keep your body in tip-top condition, boosting the strength of your immune system and making it easier to fight off illness.
Zinc is perhaps one of the most popular supplements used to combat illness and maintain a healthy immune system.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, taking between 80 and 92 milligrams of zinc a day reduces the length of a standard seven-day cold down by 3 whole days.
Therefore, taking zinc supplements at the first sign of a cold will really help you get over your illness much quicker.
Ginseng is a medicinal herb that is highly effective at preventing colds and flu or minimizing their symptoms and duration.
According to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, only one in ten of those given daily doses of North American ginseng extract suffered two or more colds over a four-month period, compared with one in four not taking the extract.
Therefore, ginseng is shown to enhance the immune system making you less prone to illness.