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Are Juicers Flu Fighters? Natural Remedies For Colds And Influenza

Feeling under the weather? Having a cold or the flu is NOT fun! Agree? Seeing a red, sore nose and puffy, watery eyes in the mirror...feeling all those aches and pains...trying to breathe through a stuffy, blocked nose...listening to your own never-ending coughing and spluttering... Double yuck!

Early symptoms of fluUnder the weather with early symptoms of flu? - Image by Paul Söderholm of Gnurf.net

What Is The Difference Between A Cold And Flu?

A cold usually starts slowly with a burning nose or a scratchy throat. As it develops, other upper respiratory infection symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose will become part of the discomfort. You will just feel unwell generally. Depending on the severity of the cold, you can also have a cough. As a rule, there is no fever, unless there are complications.

The early symptoms of flu are more severe. Feel as if you have been hit by a truck? Then it's probably influenza. You will feel more achy all over and be chilly. You are also likely to have a fever. A very sore throat, a runny nose and a more serious cough are all part of the flu package. You may also have a headache, feel extremely nauseous and be totally without an appetite. You can even have diarrhea. Fatigue is another inevitable symptom.

Both colds and flu are caused by viruses.

How Long Is The Typical Influenza Incubation Period?

Influenza incubation periods vary between 1 to 4 days. In other words, if you have been in contact with someone else who has the flu and you have been infected, you will begin to notice symptoms within roughly four days.

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For How Long Is Flu Contagious?

Somebody with the flu is contagious for between 4 and 5 days in most instances. So, be extra careful in those first days.

How Long Does Flu Last?

This can vary tremendously. Influenza can last anything from 5 days to 2 weeks. If secondary complications develop (such as bacterial infections), it can even last for a longer period.

How Can You Prevent Colds And Flu?

Your best defense is a super-strong immune system, which can either prevent you from catching a cold in the first place. A strong immune system may also help to reduce the severity of the cold or flu, plus help with a much faster recovery.

This is the time for some veggie-loading!!!

But...what if you simply can't face a meal, as your appetite has vanished and you are nauseous?

Enter your juicer! Freshly made juices are loaded with the stuff immune systems crave. And this is not just about vitamin C. Fruits and veggies are packed with all sorts of phytonutrients that can form a protective shield, keeping winter nasties at bay.

An added benefit of veggie juice is that it creates a more alkaline environment in your body. This is deadly for bacteria and viruses. The nasty guys thrive in acidic environments. So, the more alkaline things are, the harder it will be for them to get a hold in your system.

I find that it is very easy to get a glass of juice down, even when I can't tolerate solid foods.

The best juice for flu and colds? ANY juice recipe combo will be beneficial, boosting your immune system. The richer, darker and more varied the colors of the fruits and vegetables, the better. And, while you may not feel up to crunching through a plateful of veggies, you can easily cram the lot into your juicer for a shot of power-juice.

Best of all, your body can take all those nutrients right up, without even having to expend much energy digesting the juice. Your energy can be saved for getting better! Soon!

Are These Cold And Flu Facts Or Myths?

1. Get Extra Rest

Fact. You need to give your body a chance to fight off the bug. One of the best things you can do is to take things easy for a day or two. Take some time off. Get bed rest if possible.

Don't be a 'hero' and force yourself to go to the office or to go for your regular workout. Working out while having the flu can be downright dangerous. And at the office you will just be passing the bug along to all your colleagues. The sooner you rest, the sooner you will be on your feet again.

2. Drink Enough Fluids For Flu

Fact. You need to make sure that you are properly hydrated, especially if you have a fever. Enough fluids will also help to thin out mucus and to make it easier to expel. Don't overdo things, but just make sure you don't dehydrate. Hot liquids[1] in particular can help you to feel more comfortable and can ease symptoms.

If there is diarrhea, it is important to get electrolyte replacement drinks from your pharmacy.

3. Getting a cold from being cold?

Myth. There is absolutely no basis for the belief that you can 'catch' a cold by walking around with wet hair or by being in a cold draft. A cold comes from a virus and that's it.

But, if you already have a virus in your system that is perhaps not active, the above scenario might cause it to flare up. Cold weather can also dry out your mucus membranes, which may make your more likely to pick up a virus. In cold weather you are also prone to spending more time indoors among other people, increasing your exposure to viruses carried by others.

4. Natural Remedies For Colds - Does Chicken Soup Really Work?

Fact. Various research studies have been done, proving that chicken soup can be one of the best natural remedies for colds and flu.

For instance, Dr. Stephen Rennard[2] of the University of Nebraska Medical Center used their family's favorite chicken soup recipe in his research. This wholesome recipe includes chicken, sweet potatoes, onions, parsnips, carrots, turnips, parsley, some celery, salt and pepper.

According to Dr. Rennard, their results point to the chicken soup inhibiting the movement of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the body. This can have an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing symptoms.

While not being able to pinpoint the exact ingredient responsible for the success of the remedy, it has been proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms.

Other research has also proven that chicken soup may help to get mucus out. This may be due to the cysteine in chicken soup. The soup can also contribute to making the tiny hairs in the nose more effective when it comes to warding off viral intruders.

All in all, chicken soup is a must-have during the cold and flu season. Stock up on it, so that you have it ready when needed. It helps to increase your fluid intake and tastes great too!

5. Avoid Milk When You Have A Cold

Myth, but it depends on personal experience. Scientists have not been able to come up with evidence that milk products increase the production of mucus. In fact, in some instances it looked like milk products could even help to loosen mucus. But this is very much a personal thing. Some folks may feel that milk products help, while others may find that they make things worse. Go by your own gut feeling about this.

6. Frequent hand washing can help you to avoid colds

Fact. While you can't get colds by simply breathing the same air as someone who is ill, the virus can spread when you touch something the sick person has touched after coughing into her hand, for instance. So, by washing your hands frequently[3] and thoroughly (for about 30 seconds), you can limit your chances of picking up the bug. Also avoid kissing or hugging someone with the flu.

TIP: One of the absolutely BEST tips we have picked up, is that you should get into the habit of coughing into the crook of your arm, rather than into your hand. This can make all the difference in the spread of the virus.

Every single time you cough into your hand, you are likely to transfer the virus to all the surfaces you touch (such as door handles, the remote, the telephone, kitchen appliances, etc.). By switching to coughing into the crook of your arm, you will be changing the game completely. Teach this habit to your kids as soon as you can! It will help to protects their friends at school as well.

7. Use Antibiotics To Get Rid Of The Flu

Myth. Unfortunately you can't use antibiotics to get rid of the flu. Antibiotics are of no help in a viral infection as such. They won't help you to recover. In fact, by using antibiotics when not necessary, you can build up resistance to them.

It is only when their are complications such as sinusitis or bronchitis or other bacterial infections as a result of the flu, that antibiotics come into play. If you are unsure, ask your doctor. But don't insist on getting antibiotics.

Best Juicing Recipes For Colds And Flu

Check out my article on fruits and veggies that are particularly high in vitamin C. You can read it here. These may all help to protect your immune system and reduce the severity and duration of a cold. You will also get my 'Good Guy' C-Juice and Taste-The-Tropics Smoothie recipes.

Watermelon may not be among the most common recommendations for colds and flu, but I love its refreshing and cooling effect! If you can get one, try making watermelon juice. It is loaded with phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. It also contains a good dose of zinc if you juice it with the seeds.

Some folks like adding fresh ginger for extra 'bite'. As ginger is another anti-inflammatory ingredient, it can help with colds and flu.

Watermelon Cold Cooler Juice

Watermelon juicing recipe for coldsWatermelon Cold Cooler Juice Recipe
2 Cups watermelon cubes (see note below)
1 Cup Strawberries
2 Kiwi fruit
Optional: A bit of fresh ginger

Note: Wash the watermelon carefully before cubing. You can juice it rind, seeds and all if your juicer can handle it.

  1. Wash strawberries and kiwi fruit
  2. Run everything through your juicer
  3. Serve over crushed ice and decorate with a few mint leaves

Bacteria Banisher Juice

3 Carrots
3 Stalks or ribs of celery
A few chunks of cabbage (according to taste)
2 Pears
1/2 Lime
Small piece of fresh ginger

  1. Discard carrot greens as they can be toxic
  2. Wash all the ingredients
  3. Trim carrot ends
  4. Quarter pears. Don't peel, but discard seeds
  5. Peel lime as thin as you can, to retain as many nutrients.
  6. Juice and enjoy!

My five top antioxidant-rich fruits can also help to restore strength and fight a cold bug.

Sore Throat Home Remedies - Soothe That Sore Throat With Healthy, Fruity Popsicles!

Cube a variety of vitamin C-rich fruits such as watermelon, guava, strawberries and kiwi fruit. Mix the fruits and spoon some into each popsicle cup. Fill the cups with fresh watermelon juice or pineapple juice. Insert a craft stick into each cup and freeze until firm. To remove, run some warm water over the cups.

There you have it folks. Let's fight back with proven natural remedies for colds and flu and the best of juicing recipes!

> From the juicing for health desk of Rika Susan

1. Hot Liquids Can Ease Symptoms
2. Try Chicken Soup For Colds And Flu
3. Clean hands save lives

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