When a cold strikes, most people tend to overdo it on cold medicine in an effort to get rid of it in time for that next big event whether it’s a party or a football game.
Those with demanding jobs or who are simply impatient will likely want it gone by the next day. Raiding the medicine cabinet might ease the cold symptoms, but it may come at the cost of nausea, stomach aches and many more serious issues such as liver failure.
We asked two physicians for some fast and natural ways you can improve cold and flu symptoms.
Bone Broth and Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is every mom’s favorite “go-to” recipe and there’s good evidence to support it speeds up symptoms of the cold and flu. Make it from scratch with organic free-range chicken bones and veggies.
The high sodium content in soups is actually beneficial and helps improve cold symptoms.
Bone broth is great at healing the immune system. It’s full of collagen and amino acids like lysine, glycine, leucine which all help rebuild the gut lining and improve symptoms that cause achy body and the sniffles.
Feeding your gut bacteria is imperative for staying healthy and helping improve cold and flu symptoms. Your gut bacteria regulates your immune system. For children, the recommendation is >3 strands bacteria >5billion CFU/day. For adults >5strands bacteria and >20billion CFU/day.
You can also get probiotics through fermented foods: kefir, kimchi, saurkraout, miso soup, and kombucha.
— Dr. Bindiya Gandhi, family physician, yoga instructor, Reiki master and expert on nutrition
When I find myself feeling less than 100% I target my natural supplements to really boost my immune system. Both Echinacea and vitamin C have been shown to reduce the duration and severity of a cold up to 30%.
In addition, taking Zinc together with vitamin C can increase vitamin C’s already powerful immune-boosting properties due to this nutrient’s role in increasing infection-fighting white blood cells.
I usually take anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000 mg of vitamin C with 75 mg of zinc.
You can also boost your immune system through adaptogens; powerful herb and plant medicines.
Maca is filled with vitamin C and astragalus is both antibacterial and antiviral. You can add these to tea or smoothies or even sprinkled on top of food. Getting rid of toxins provides your body with the best environment for your immune system to thrive.
— Dr. Will Cole, senior Functional Medicine clinic director in Pittsburgh, PA.