Natural Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu

Written by Dave Rich

On November 8, 2012

It’s almost that time of year again. Time to watch the trees change colors while hiking through the woods, time to prepare for Halloween, and time to come down with that yearly cold or flu. If you’re the kind of guy who understands the risks of a yearly flu shot but don’t want to get sick, this article offers some tips and tricks to stay healthy this season with natural remedies!
Why Some Men Get Sick Easier Than Others
Why is it some guys seem to come down with a cold or flu two or three times a year while some breeze right through without so much as a sniffle? The answer lies in your immune system. If you’re catching every little bug that comes around, your immune system is depleted. This could be due to poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, autoimmune disease, and/or excessive use of hand sanitizer.
Wait. What?
Yup. You might think lathering on copious amounts of the clear stuff every time you touch a doorknob or a telephone will keep the germs away. The truth is, there is a such thing as being too clean. Your skin contains natural, healthy bacteria that act as your first defense against colds and flu. Excessive use of hand sanitizers destroys this good bacteria and leaves you more open and vulnerable to catching everything that’s going around.
Preventing Colds and Flu the Natural Way
For natural cold relief, these tried-and-true remedies can keep your health and spirits up this cold and flu season. It may even help you drop a few pounds and improve your muscle tone too!

  • Diet

A healthy diet is the cornerstone of men’s health. If you’re not eating well, you’re not going to be well. It’s that simple. A diet full of processed foods like cured meats, microwavable meals, candy, soda and donuts depress your immune system and leave you feeling sluggish. To boost your immune system and keep yourself healthy, opt for more whole foods such as leafy green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and wild-caught fish. Spice these foods up with cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and oregano and you’re fortifying your immune system for the cold months to come!

  • Exercise

Exercise not only helps pack on the muscle, it can also provide natural cold relief. According to an Australian study, both men and women who exercised regularly had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood, resulting in less frequent colds and infections. Even if you haven’t worked out in a while, start with something simple such as walking or swimming and work your way up to more regular exercise.

  • Sleep

Chronic insomnia is a problem for many men. Not only does it affect your ability to concentrate and focus on work, it also depletes your immune system. This is because chronic lack of sleep raises your body’s stress hormones and kills off T-cells; your immune system’s invading army. To get a better night’s sleep, follow these insomnia tips for men.

  • Supplements and Herbs

Sometimes, even the healthiest diets need a little help. Supplements can act as natural antibiotics to stave off old or flu viruses or lessen their severity.
These supplements include:

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C works best if taken as a preventative or at the first sign of colds and flu. When you first feel those sniffles and body aches start, take 8,000 milligrams every twenty minutes for 3-4 hours as your digestive system tolerates.
  • Zinc – To lessen the severity of an upper respiratory infection, suck on zinc lozenges or take zinc pills at the onset of the cold or flu. Men with low testosterone may also benefit from regular zinc supplementation.
  • Astragalus – Unlike most supplements that only seem to prevent and treat the common cold, this natural herb has been known to prevent the flu, even the dreaded H1N1 infection. During flu season, take 250-500 milligrams in the morning 3 times per week.
  • Echinacea – This Native American medicinal plant is one of nature’s natural antibiotics. Its strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties make it the go-to herb for cold and flu sufferers. Echinacea can also help treat the discomfort and inflammation of seasonal allergies.
  • Goldenseal – Goldenseal is best if taken in large doses for short periods of time, preferably at the onset of cold or flu. The capsules can also be broken open and used in a neti pot to flush the nostrils of debris and mucous.

Cold and flu season doesn’t have to get you down. For natural cold relief, turn to natural antibiotics, diet, exercise, and plenty of stress-relieving rest. Don’t use all your sick days in the winter sneezing your way through box after box of tissues, boost your immune system and plan a summer vacation instead!
“Yawning Man” image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/

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