Try some beetroot juice
A study testing whether beetroot juice protects against cold symptoms in a period of stress (we are more prone to colds and flu when stressed) found that the drink had a positive effect.1
The study involved 76 students, all of whom were in a high state of stress as they completed their final exams. The group was split in two, with some receiving seven daily doses of beetroot juice, and the others receiving nothing at all. One follow-up questionnaire was filled out a week after the final exams to assess the effects of beetroot juice.
The results showed that beetroot juice reduced cold and flu symptoms. This may be, in part, to do with the fact that beetroot juice actually increases the availability of nitric oxide (NO), one of the body’s first lines of defence against pathogens (cold and flu viruses).
Stay clear of antibiotics
When suffering from the common cold, coughs and sore throats, antibiotics are not the answer. Research shows they have no effect on these kinds of symptoms and, in fact, they could contribute to unpleasant side effects like sickness and diarrhoea.2 Not only this, recent research suggests that over the years antibiotics have been over-prescribed. This has led to resistance to the drugs and, as a result, they are less effective in treating even the infections they are intended to help.3
As well as giving antibiotics a wide berth when you have a cold or flu, it may be beneficial to avoid painkillers as well. The problem here is that we are simply getting too much. Painkillers are present in many cold and flu remedies and, if you are taking regular painkillers on top of this, it could amount to an excess.
If you are suffering from a cold or flu I’d always recommend considering more natural options such as our Echinaforce Hot Drink. This is a traditional herbal product used to relieve symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections.
Whilst Echinacea helps to stop viruses from entering cells, the Elderberry in this remedy is effective in preventing viruses from spreading further. This makes the Echinaforce Hot Drink a good option if you already have an infection and are looking for ways to prevent it from spreading to those around you.
The drink has a naturally sweet taste and is incredibly soothing too – just what you need if a cold or flu is causing a sore, irritated throat!
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Get more zinc!
Zinc is an important mineral for our body – it affects everything from male prostate health to brain function. On top of this, research shows it can be beneficial when it comes to colds and flu.
A scientific review recently assessed how effective zinc was in reducing the severity and frequency of common cold symptoms.4 Researchers concluded that zinc did indeed reduce the duration of a cold, though it was less effective in reducing the severity of symptoms.
It is important to note, however, that participants in the study increased their zinc intake within 24 hours of them experiencing symptoms of the common cold. As well as this, in order to see results, zinc intake had to remain elevated throughout the course of an infection.
Zinc is easily accessible through our diet, as foods such as seeds, nuts, eggs, legumes and shellfish contain it in high quantities. In order to see the most benefit during a cold or flu infection you could consider a supplement on top of this. Nowadays many such products contain too much zinc, though, and so here at A.Vogel we’d always suggest trying something a little gentler.
Our Balance Mineral Drink contains zinc alongside magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin D. As well as helping to up your zinc intake, this product contributes to normal muscle and joint function, plus it helps to fight fatigue – just what you need when a cold or flu leaves you feeling under the weather!
Stock up on probiotics
Probiotics are well known for their role in digestive help but could they really help to tackle colds and flu too? Well, they have made it onto this list for a reason!
Research indicates that probiotics may be helpful in reducing upper respiratory tract infections.5 A review of multiple studies on the matter concluded that treatment with probiotics reduced the number of participants who had one or more respiratory tract infections. Moreover, probiotics reduced the amount of respiratory tract infections an individual had in the course of a year.
We must not get too carried away with these findings, however, as the researchers admitted the findings were inconsistent and there were many variations in the type of probiotics used. The use of probiotics in respiratory tract infections shows promising results, though, and with a little more research we could have a new remedy on our hands!