By Megan Barber, Wellness Buyer, Grocery Buyer, Merchandising Manager, Co-op Owner
Cold and flu season is ramping up with the seasonal shift. When the weather changes and becomes cooler, holiday stress increases, and people begin spending more time indoors, viral colds and the flu become more prominent. Influenza activity increases in October/November and carries us through winter, peaking around February, but it can last until May! This year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is predicting a severe flu season in the US based on Australia’s bad season that they’re experiencing now.
Watch for flu symptoms that include:
Onset: Nose, throat, and lung troubles
Then commonly: sore throat, cough, high fever, body aches, dizziness, vomiting, chills, and more
Possible: ear or sinus infections, pneumonia, or bronchitis
Lasts usually: 4-7 days
Watch for cold symptoms that include:
Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.
Lasts usually: 7-10 days
Helping your Body*:
Marshmallow root: soothes membranes in the mouth and throat
Vitamin C: vital vitamin to the immune cells that can be easily diminished by inflammation,
stress, and sugar
Astragalus: herb that increases white blood cells counts and stimulates the growth of
Zinc: promotes immune health and the ability of T-cells to function properly
Diet: reduce sugar intake as it has been shown to suppress the immune system because it competes with vitamin C receptors in the immune cells. Eat a colorful array of fruit and vegetables as they contain all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are easier to digest and absorb the nutrients.
Sleep: when you sleep all sorts of great things happen in your body. Natural melatonin acts as an antioxidant and helps T-cells and therefore helps immune health.
Back to basics:
Wash your hands thoroughly
Avoid sick people when possible
Avoid public spaces like work or school if you are sick
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Clean common surfaces like remotes, phones, door knobs, steering wheels, etc.
If you’re elderly (65+ years old) or have young ones (less than 5 years old), have a poor or compromised immune system, or are pregnant, be observant and seek medical help from your doctor as early as possible to assist the body in recovery. The cold and flu can hit people in these groups hard and cause additional complications based on their immune systems.
*Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this, or any other, website.