How to Prepare Yourself for Cold & Flu Season
Do you often get a cold or flu and end up spending days in bed feeling run-down and miserable? Follow our expert tips for natural immune-boosters as we head into the flu season.
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, you can take steps to try to protect yourself from the winter blues.
In Australia, the most common time to catch a cold or come down with the flu is from April to October. Colds and flu can happen at any time of year, but they strike in winter with colder temperatures and low humidity providing the prime conditions for the viruses that cause these illnesses.
Of course, you’re more susceptible to these bugs if you’re feeling run down in the first place. The old saying is true in this case – the best cure is prevention! So while we advocate doing your best to stay healthy all year round, we’ve pulled together expert advice and tips from the professions on what they do to stay healthy through the cooler months.
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 – an essential vitamin that we cannot produce or store and therefore must consume daily. Ginger and lemongrass are both sources of antioxidants, which protect against free-radicals to maintain a healthy balance in the body.
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 fruits and leafy green vegetables.
But it is not only the vitamin C found in rosehip that can help with well-being. Our black, green and white teas all contain antioxidants as tea is a natural source of antioxidants. One group of antioxidants, called catechins, are particularly important. 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 be as functional as it is delicious.
The Power of Probiotics
Studies have shown that a healthy gut is essential to overall health, not just digestive 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 colonies of ‘good bacteria’ that live in our gut, aids digestion and helps keep our bodies in a healthy balance of good bacteria over bad bacteria. “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.
Probiotics – another buzz word that has spread from health circles to the general public – are a type of ‘good bacteria’ that make up or feed your microbiome. Probiotics are found in various fermented or cultured foods including yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut, sourdough, pickles and kombucha.
Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea drink that has exploded in popularity recently, with many bottled and flavoured varieties now available in supermarkets. Go to any supermarket, corner shop or petrol station and you’ll see shelves packed with bottles of this fizzy, slightly sour beverage. Arguably the hottest health trend around, kombucha is a refreshing, flavourful way to stay hydrated, and a source of probiotics.
As we head into cold and flu season, why not try out this tasty tea tonic for yourself? You can make your own kombucha at home using just a few ingredients, including Nerada black tea. Here’s an easy recipe.
Down, but Not Out
Even if you do get sick, don’t stop drinking your Nerada tea. 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.”
Need a pick-me-up? Try our Lemon & Ginger Organic Herbal Infusion with a spoonful of honey. The blend contains lemon peel, lemon myrtle and lemongrass to create an uplifting citrus flavour. And if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re all congested, a cup of our caffeine-free Camomile Organic Herbal Infusion before bed 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 be sure to get lots of rest and stay hydrated with comforting warm drinks, such as tea and herbal infusions.