How to Protect Yourself from Colds & Flu

Do you often get a cold or flu and end up spending days in bed feeling miserable? Follow our expert tips to build your immunity and help protect yourself from coming down with a bug.

With the change of the season unfortunately comes dreaded colds and flu. Before it really cools down and everyone around you is sniffling and sneezing take steps to protect yourself from the winter nasties.

The most common time to catch a cold or come down with influenza is from April to October. Why you ask? The air is cooler and drier during these months and the viruses that cause these illnesses flourish in those conditions.

Of course, you’re more susceptible to these bugs if you’re feeling run down in the first place. But there are things you can do to help protect yourself. The old saying is true in this case – the best cure is prevention! We’ve researched some expert tips that may help you stay healthy through the cooler months, and if you do get sick, they may speed up your recovery.

Make Time for Tea

Having a cold or the flu makes you feel miserable – there is no other way to describe it. Sneezing, streaming eyes, a red runny nose, aches and pains. Avoiding coming down with it in the first place is definitely the way to go.

Have you tried our Rosehip, Lemongrass & Ginger Organic Herbal Infusion? Rosehip has been used medicinally for centuries as it contains high levels of vitamin C. Essential for good health, vitamin C protects against infection and may reduce the severity of a cold.

As for its immune-boosting properties, holistic dietitian and nutritionist Natalie Bourke wrote in Australian Men’s Health, “Vitamin C supports your immune system by allowing it to function optimally and it also plays a role in mitigating stress in the body.” To further increase your vitamin C intake eat plenty of fresh citrus fruit and leafy green vegetables.

But it is not only the vitamin C found in rosehip that may boost your immunity and help you fend off a bout of influenza. Our black, green and white teas all contain antioxidants. One group of antioxidants, called catechins, may have flu-fighting properties. A study conducted in Japan in 2011 found that people who took catechin capsules for five months had a 75% less chance of contracting the flu than participants taking the placebo. Turns out your daily cup of Nerada pesticide-free black tea might just be a flu-fighting force to be reckoned with.

The Power of Probiotics

Once upon a time when you said ‘gut’ you thought of a man who liked a beer or two. Not anymore! Today your gut most commonly refers to your small intestine and bowel, and studies have shown that a healthy gut is essential to your overall health. Professor Amanda Devine, from Perth’s Edith Cowan University’s School of Medical and Health Sciences told ABC News “We really believe that what is in the microbiome of people’s guts and people’s bowels has a large interplay with their overall health.” The microbiome or ‘good bacteria’ that live in our gut that aid digestion and help keep us well. “The microbiota in the actual bowel produces metabolites and they improve the cellular functioning of the colon itself – and they also improve the immunity of the person,” Professor Devine explained.

But back to the microbiome, the colony of beneficial bacteria that live in our guts that we all need to have to fight off illnesses and stay healthy. Probiotics – another buzz word in health circles – are a type of ‘good bacteria’ that make up your microbiome. Probiotics are found in various foods including yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut and kombucha.

Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea drink that has exploded in popularity recently. Go to any supermarket, corner shop or petrol station and you’ll see shelves packed with bottles of this beverage. Arguably the hottest health trend around, kombucha is reported to be rich in probiotics.

If want to try and bolster your immunity before flu season, why not try out this tasty tea tonic for yourself? There’s no need to buy one of the pricey ready-made versions, you can make your own kombucha at home using Nerada black tea. Here’s our recipe.

Down, but Not Out

Even if you do get sick, don’t stop drinking your Nerada tea. It can help speed up your recovery. Dr Murray Grossan, an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles shared what he does to shake a cold, “I drink hot black or green tea with lemon and honey. Drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia – the hair follicles in the nose – to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial.”

Try our Lemon & Ginger Organic Herbal Infusion with a spoonful of honey, which may help to soothe a sore throat, and lemon is also high in vitamin C.  And if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re all congested, a calming cup of our Camomile Organic Herbal Infusion may just do the trick.

If nothing else, a warm mug of tea or your favourite herbal infusion when you’re feeling under the weather is comforting, so get lots of rest and drink up.