Let's be honest, the only good things about the flu or even a cold for that matter is a few days off work and an excuse to make people bring you mugs of hot tea! But we all know the flu isn't fun for anyone and although these below tips aren't a 100% guarantee to ward off the flu, you'll be putting your body at much less risk of catching it and if you do, then in you'll be in a better position to recover quicker.
With potent antioxidant properties turmeric is a phenominal anti inflammatory that everyone should have in their kitchen. How do I have it? I buy fresh organic turmeric and I use it in everything I can - my golden jamu elixer that I teach in my cooking classes, golden lattes, my coconut and maca smoothie, with ginger and lemon in tea, in curries, stir fries and my body booster chicken soup, in marinades, in salads and salad dressings, in my spinach and zucchini loaf and even just grated into some quinoa or millet. Add a pinch of black pepper or cayenne pepper to help absorption too! Tip - use gloves, it stains!
2. Olive Leaf Extract
Another excellent antioxidant source, olive leaf extract is the liquid extracted from olive leaves. Many use this for it's medicinal purposes to not only help fight fevers but also for cardiovascular function and boosting general immunity. I keep this in my fridge and shot as needed (does anyone else agree that it tastes like healthy cough medicine your mum would give you when you were little!).
3. Bone Broth
I always have my fridge and freezer stocked with broth as it's mineral and collagen contents are hard to find elsewhere. There's nothing more nourishing than a cup heated with some miso, veggies and poached chicken but I also use it in replace of stock as often as I can.
4. Honey Fermented Garlic
Yummm! This is a recipe I learnt from one the Wild Ferments Workshops and it is so easy and so low maintenance, you just need to remember to make it 6 months in advance! When organic garlic was in season at the start of year I stocked up, peeled the cloves, placed them in a jar and poured over some raw organic honey. 3 days of burping and 5 months of fermenting on the kitchen bench later and I have a jar full anti-microbial, anti-bacterial goodness! I eat them whole if I'm feeling run down otherwise add to salad dressings, herbal teas and even stir fries!
5. Horseradish Vinegar
I stumbled across this at my local farmers market and am so glad I did! This is a mix of apple cider vinegar, turmeric extract, cayenne pepper, garlic and horseradish. It's has exceptional healing benefits for allergic symptoms of hayfever, sinus problems and the cold and flu. I have had clients claim this product alone reduced their hayfever symptoms significantly. The best thing about this product is that it is delicious as a salad dressing - but you can also have shots of it on it's own too. Can be sourced online.
Note: Antibiotics ARE NOT suitable for the flu or other viral infections. Unnecessary use of antibiotics puts you at risk of wiping your good gut bacteria leading to upset stomachs, irregular bowel movements, poor concentration, skin break outs and poor immunity (that cycle of getting sick, taking antibiotics and then getting sick again sound familiar to anyone?).
If you do end up with flu or a cold this winter use the above to supplement a nutrient rich diet, plenty of water and quality sleep!