Colds and Flu

Colds and FluWhat are Colds and Flu?

Colds and flu are ailments that are caused by viruses. One thing that you can do at most is to keep your immune system strong. You can do this by eating various foods that contribute to a strong immune system. Not getting yourself weak and prone to sickness is also one way of combating cold and flu.


What Causes Colds and Flu?

  • Colds and flu are caused  by viruses.
  • Poor and unhealthy immune system.
  • When your immune system is not at a healthy state, then you will be prone to colds and flu.


Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Colds and Flu

The symptoms of colds and flu are quite similar however, the symptoms of the latter is more severe. The following are the common symptoms of colds:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Mild fever
  • Lasts for two to four days

Common symptoms of flu are:

  • High fever, which is usually 39 degrees Celsius or more
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Intense muscle pains
  • Aching joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Occurrence of a stuffy nose at times
  • Sore throat could also be experienced
  • It could last for one week or more


Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Colds and Flu

For treating colds and flu, you need to watch your diet and do something about it. Food plays a very important part of day-to-day activities that it would be one of the things that you need to understand in order to effectively treat it.

Foods to Avoid

  • Foods that weaken the immune system such as sugar-rich foods and caffeine. You need to avoid foods that have sugar. This would include cakes, pies, white bread, biscuits, and foods and also high fat-foods. You also need to avoid foods that have high caffeine content such as coffee. You need to avoid alcohol as well. All these could grant your body susceptible to colds and flu due to the weakening of your immune system.
  • Mucus-forming foods. This would include dairy, chocolate, and cheese.  You need to avoid these foods since they can cause the formation of mucus. You must remember that mucus could also form as a reaction to foods that you have a certain intolerance of.

Friendly Foods

  • Garlic and Onion. These foods have anti-bacterial properties. They are also known to have antiseptic properties as well. One great soup recipe that you can do at home is one with six onions, a whole garlic, grated fresh ginger, and cayenne pepper. You can mix all these vegetables with chicken or vegetable stock. You can try and add lemongrass. For children, you could try and leave out cayenne pepper, although this makes the other herbs more effective, it becomes too hot for children.
  • Liquorice. This is a lovely and tasty food that can be made into tea. You can also make it as a confectionery if it is sugarless. This has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that could soothe the throat whenever it is inflamed.
  • Fruits and vegetables. These could increase your immunity.
  • Brown rice with chicken or fish. These are helpful for your diet as well.
  • Lemon and ginger herbal tea. You can do this by making your own tea. Try to chop 2.5cm fresh ginger then add this to boiling water, let it stand for 15 minutes and then add lemon juice and chopped sprig onions.
  • Drink plenty of water. When you drink tea and coffee, your body gets dehydrated. It is therefore best to drink plenty of water or herbal teas to combat this effect. You may opt for green tea or Pau d’arco since these also helps in boosting the immune function of the body.

Helpful Remedies

  • Propolis (1g – 3g daily). This comes from beehives and has both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. This could help in reducing the severity of any cold and when you take 500mg all year round, it could greatly help boost your immunity.
  • Echinacea and golden seal. These can be taken as tincture or tablets every few hours. These help in fending off a cold or flu. In fact, Echinacea has been known to shorten the period of a cold. For instance if colds usually occur for 7 days, Echinacea will be able to shorten it to 3 – 4 days only. This could be taken every 2 – 3 hours at 1ml – 4ml per intake. This could be very helpful during winter when people become more susceptible to cold.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C is a strong anti-viral. It shortens the duration of most colds and flu if taken in the right amounts. You can take 1g daily during winter for protection, but if you feel that a cold is coming, then you can increase intake to 1g for 3 times everyday. Remember to take it in ascorbate form with meals until the cold is gone.
  • Multi-vitamin. Your multivitamins must have at least between 30mg – 60mg of zinc. This helps in boosting your immune system. It also helps in fighting infection.
  • Gluconate lozenges. This is very effective when you suffer from sore throats. Just make sure that it contains 15mg – 25mg of zinc. You may take 1 every 3 – 4 hours. These lozenges kill the bacteria that are found in the throat.
  • Olive leaf extract. This acts like a natural antibiotic. It helps maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Sambucol. This is the European’s black elderberry plant’s elderly extract. It has anti-viral properties and when this is taken at a cold or flu’s onset, it could help in shortening the length of the illness.

More Helpful Remedies

  • Homeopathic Aconite (30c, twice or thrice a day).  This could be taken at the onset of an impending cold. This helps in stopping the development of the cold.
  • Anti Cold and Flu Remedy. This is Ainsworth’s famous remedy for preventing cold and flu symptoms.
  • Whenever you have a cold or a flu, try to keep warm and avoid changing your surrounding temperature for at least 48 hours. Try to do this, until the symptoms have subsided. You need to rest if you have fever.
  • Try not to push yourself to the limit and struggle into work if you are having a bad cold or flu. Doing so would only aggravate your condition and would simply make it last longer. Remember that these are viral and you might pass the illness to your colleagues.
  • Remember to wash your hands regularly. You may not know it but you may have already made contact with somebody who had a cold. Viruses can easily penetrate through the soft skin of your palms, so washing is the only way to protect yourself. You also need to watch your kids and teach them how to wash regularly as they tend to forget to do this most of the time.
  • Viruses are airborne. They could spread so fast in crowded and stuffy areas. Try to avoid being in smoky and stuffy rooms.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
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