Avoid Colds and Flu
10 Effective Strategies
by Nancy Hearn, CNC

young girl playing soccer

Most people try to avoid colds and flu by staying away from people who are sniffling and sneezing and by frequently washing their hands.

These steps are important but there is much more we can do to prevent “catching” that bad cold or the latest flu bug. 

Diet and Immunity

First it is helpful to understand the role of diet. People tend to get more colds and flu during the winter months when our diets are naturally heavier.

In addition, over consumption of animal-based foods, especially dairy, usually promotes excess production of mucous in the respiratory tract—which also fosters the growth of bacteria and viruses. 

Sugar and alcohol intake often increases during the colder months, which also decreases immune function. 

Toxic Waste in the Body

Stress creates a higher amount of toxic waste in the body. When we add higher levels of stress to a heavier diet, the end result is an accumulation of toxic waste in the body and a sluggish immune system.

In fact, one of the key factors that determine our ability to avoid colds and flu is the efficiency at which our body can rid itself of toxic waste!

I believe the so-called “cold and flu season” has little to do with external factors, such as viruses and bacteria.  It has much more to do with the internal environment of our bodies.

In other words, we don’t inadvertently “catch” bugs; we make lifestyle choices that cause us to be more vulnerable to them.

10 Ways to Avoid Colds and Flu

We recommend the following strategies to avoid colds and flu, especially during season changes or when others around you are getting sick. 

  1. Drink More Water.  Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of clean water on a daily basis. Drinking enough water is the easiest and most effective way to rid your body of acid waste and to boost immunity.  Minimize alcohol, coffee, tea, and sodas, which are dehydrating and acidifying.
  2. Eat More Plant Food.  Eat an abundance of plant-based, whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains, beans, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and seaweeds. These foods are nutrient-dense and contain ample fiber to help keep the colon clean. Approximately 70% of immune function is based in the gut.
  3. Avoid Animal Food.  If you start to feel the least bit ill or others around you are getting sick, minimizing your intake of animal-based foods is a wise approach. This includes beef and poultry, milk, cheese and eggs. These foods have no fiber and take a long time and a lot of energy to digest. They also leave a significant amount of acidic waste in the body.
  4. Moderate Exercise.  Exercise at least 15 minutes daily to flush the lymph. The fluidity and cleanliness of your lymph fluid is critical to immunity. The most effective exercise for flushing lymp and boosting immunity is jumping on a mini-trampoline, also called a rebounder. 
  5. Avoid Sugar. Eating sugar (of any form) can decrease immune function for up to 24 hours.  Stick with fresh fruit and small amounts of dark chocolate when craving sweets. 
  6. Wash Hands.As we all know, bacteria and viruses are often passed by touch. Wash hands frequently and avoid shaking hands with those who are already sick. 
  7. Enjoy a Sauna. A highly effective way to help rid your body of toxic wastes through perspiration is the far-infrared sauna. Its dry, warming heat is compatible with the human body. It heats the tissues several inches deep, enhancing metabolic processes and killing germs and viruses.
  8. Take Supplements. Take a high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement, preferably from a whole-food, organic source. One of the most powerful natural antibiotics is garlic, which should be taken at the first sign of symptoms. Fresh garlic is preferable but you can also take odor-free capsules. Other preventive cold and flu supplements include echinacea, zinc, olive leaf extract, oregano oil, or colloidal silver. Taking a probiotic supplement to replenish good bacteria in the gut is also a good idea.
  9. Invest in a Humidifier or Air Ionizer.  During the winter months especially, you might want to use a humidifier or air ionizer to minimize the effect of forced air heat in your home and/or work environment. This type of heat dries out the mucous membranes lining the respiratory tract, mouth, nose, and lungs. 
  10. Slow Down.  At the first sign of illness or fatigue, slow your daily pace down and rest to prevent the illness from taking hold. You can take a long, hot bath with a free drops of eucalyptus or thyme essential oil. Towel dry and go right to bed for a deep rest. Get 6 to 9 hours of quality sleep, depending on your personal needs.


NHS.UK; Preventing Colds and Flu


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