Expert tips for beating colds and flu include natural remedies that are safer AND more effective than any vaccine

As Britain deals with the effects of the “Aussie flu,” several medical experts were asked for their best tips for dealing with cold and flu and even how to avoid them in the first place. While some doctors are often quick to suggest that their patients get flu vaccines and take medications for what ails them, it is interesting to note that many of them turn to natural remedies when it comes to their own health.

Nutritionist Sarah Flower, for example, recommends a daily probiotic to give your immune system an added boost and enhance bowel health. She also urges people to take Vitamin D every day, not just in the winter but throughout the year if they don’t spend much time outside. Rounding out her must-have list is a high-quality fish oil like krill oil.

When it comes to colds, she suggests increasing your intake of zinc through foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and cocoa. She also suggests a high-quality zinc supplement for ear, nose and throat issues.

Naturopathic nutritionist Amy Morris seconds the zinc advice, calling it her “go-to” whenever she starts to notice the first symptoms of a cold setting in. She mentioned a study published in the Cochrane Library that illustrated how zinc supplements can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold in healthy individuals when taken within the first 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

To avoid getting sick, Morris advocates eating raw garlic for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. She said eating a clove of organic garlic and washing it down with a glass of purified water each day for a week helps her body fight off illness. She also makes a point of keeping her junk food and sugar intake low for optimum immune health, and like Flower, she throws some probiotics into the mix as well.

The right foods can do far more than anything at the pharmacy

GP Dr. Deyo Famuboni says she takes vitamin D, vitamin C and probiotics on a regular basis, and she emphasizes the importance of washing your hands to prevent the spread of viruses. She says that a healthy diet with an assortment of colorful produce and good protein sources helps keep your body in fighting shape, and she’s also fond of fermented foods. She specifically identified turmeric and chlorella as foods that help support immune function.

Dermatologist Dr. Daniel Glass swears by Vitamin C. While he tries to get it from his diet via fruits and vegetables throughout the year, he adds a supplement to the mix in winter to help ward off any colds and other infections.

When a cold does strike, he eschews over-the-counter treatments in favor of natural remedies. One of his favorite ways to deal with a cold is by sweating it out in a sauna. He’s also a big fan of chicken soup. The carrots in the soup provide beta-carotene, while the celery gives you vitamin C, both of which are known for their ability to fight infection and support the immune system. Moreover, the onions in the soup have antioxidants that curb inflammation and have an antihistamine effect.

Emergency room physician Dr. Julian Nesbitt, like many of the other doctors interviewed, is fond of eating fruit, preferring to get his in the form of a smoothie. He also advocates exercising for the mind as well as the body, with weight training and high-intensity interval training being particularly good options. He also recommends getting lots of light and supplementing with vitamin D if necessary. On top of that, he says getting enough sleep is essential.

These doctors’ recommendations are simple and effective, and their advice shows how Mother Nature gives us what we need to stay healthy. Forget the flu vaccine and all its dangerous side effects – all you need to do is ensure you’re eating all the right foods and none of the wrong ones while getting adequate sleep and exercise. Read for more coverage of the flu.

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