5 Natural Ways To Recover From The Flu

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As you will be well aware, COVID has been front and centre for the past few years.  As the effects of this pandemic move (for some) into recovery, now is as good a time as any to talk about recovery from illness or viruses - not just COVID.

You can read more about how viruses work here, but in this blog we're offering you some tips on how to help when you are acutely unwell and tips that will help you recover from the flu or any other illness.

🌿Related:  7 Easy Ways To Naturally Boost Your Immune System

how-to-recover-from-the-flu

Resting Is Important

Anna Brooks, a leading immunologist at the University of Auckland, recently spoke with Radio New Zealand about long COVID and the ongoing health effects it can have. What she was recommending for everyone, whether it was a ‘mild’ case of omicron or not, was rest. 

We know that resting is essential when we are unwell, often your body is not capable of doing anything else but rest, so when you start to feel better it is very important that you do not rush into life as it was before. You need to ease yourself back into work and exercise. She discussed how even some elite athletes are struggling with long COVID as they returned to high intensity exercise too quickly. 

Resting may feel like you are being lazy (especially if you are not ‘sick sick) but resting gives your body some time to rebuild your base line health and also helps to regather your immunity in case you get unwell again. So one of the best things you can do to hep recover from the flu or illness is reduce your expectations on what you can do, reduce the amount of time or the intensity of your exercise and let your body recover.

rest-illness-recovery
2 Eat Nourishing Food

What you eat can really help you in your recovery from the flu or any other virus. When you are unwell your body is usually not so keen to eat, so things like broths, soups and stews are more easily digested and often feel more nourishing. Plus it takes less time than cooking a full meal which is a life saver when you have minimal energy. And if you have no energy at all, remember to call on friends, family or the supermarkets online delivery service!

You can freeze broths and soups in bigger ice cubes and then put them in a zip lock bag for quick and easy use. Broths can be simply taken as is, or you could cook your rice and grains in them to add more nutrients. Simple soups like pumpkin are tasty, nutrient dense and easy to make so why not add in ginger, turmeric or even chillis can help support your recovery.

3 Gentle Movement 

Stretching and movement is still really important. Your body needs to move and circulation helps to move nutrients and waste around your body. Circulation also helps to support your lymphatic system which helps remove waste left over from an immune response.

Some people do dry brushing before a shower to support their lymphatic system. Others have embraced using the cold water in the last minutes of their shower - you could give it a go. When you’re sick, you’re not up to much physically but these are some easy and natural ways to help aid your recovery from the flu or illness.

4 Consider Extra Support

Another way to help recover from the flu or illness is with the aid of supplements. We know however that not everyone can afford supplements so we have tried to offer alternatives as well.

how-to-recover-from-the-flu

Zinc

Zinc is essential for so many things within your body but the main ones are for healing and immune support. If possible choose zinc powder or liquid zinc as it is easier to utilise and digest.

Always take zinc with food in your system as high dose zinc can make you feel a bit nauseous and remember that you do not need to take zinc all the time as it can interfere with other absorption pathways if you take it for too long. Some good options are Clinicians Zinc drops or Ethical Nutrients Mega Zinc. 

Food sources of zinc are 
  • Nettle 
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Shellfish
  • Beef
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms
Please note that the amount within food is not at a therapeutic level of zinc but concentrating on increasing zinc rich foods will still help.

nettle-for-recovery

Vitamin C 

We know that Vitamin C is helpful to the immune system and can provide antioxidant support when you are recovering from the flu or illness. You can purchase liposomal vitamin C which is contained in a fat which is then fully absorbed by the liver or you could get a powder that you can mix with water. Vitamin C is not something you produce so you do need to add vitamin C (whether through food or plants) into our diet daily.

Food sources of vitamin C are
  • Berries
  • Kiwifruit
  • Rosehips
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli)

rosehips

Activated B Complex

Vitamin B’s can help support healthy energy levels which is very helpful when you are feeling exhausted post unwellness. Activated just means they are more absorbable and more easy to utilise due to the way it is processed. Taking one a day may mean you have just a little more energy to get through the day - you could take a month’s worth and then reassess if you need more. You could try Ethical Nutrients, Clinicians, or Solgar.

Food sources are vitamin B’s are:
  • Nutritional yeast - you can add this to baking or as a topping
  • Eggs (which also have choline which helps support brain health as well)
  • Leafy greens
  • Grains 

leafy-greens-activated-b-complex

Quercetin

Quercetin is often used to help support inflammation levels. It is a plant pigment that is also a flavonoid - which is often responsible for the colours in plants and vegetables. Flavonoids are antioxidants which help with free radical damage and also can help reduce oxidative stress that can come with being unwell. You can find quercetin as a capsule or as a powder. If you are wondering how to recover from the flu or illness then supplements are a wonderful way of doing this, but these things can also be found in your diet.

Food sources or quercetin are;
  • Citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, black tea
  • Olive oil, grapes, cherries
  • Blueberries, blackberries, and bilberries 

 

Use Plants

How do you recover from the flu or illness and how can plants help? We are obviously biased and love plants. From wild harvested to our beautiful natives, there is an abundance of plants that can help you recover from the flu or illness. We love that they can support your health on a therapeutic level as well as nutritional level.

The plants that we often use for post sickness recovery are
  • Rosehips
  • Nettle
  • Astragalus
  • Withania
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
Plants can support you on many levels, be it if you are unwell and need some immune enhancement or if, post sickness, you need support for energy and to get through the day.

Rosehips And Nettle

Rosehips and nettles as we mentioned above, are high in zinc and vitamin C but they both fall into the category of tonic herbs - which means you can take them when you are needing extra support to help support your body back to health. We use both of these amazing plants in our Daily Boost.

daily-boost-rosehip-and-nettle

Fire Cider & Anti Flam

From our range we also love using Anti Flam and Fire Cider as they both have high amounts of plants that support healthy inflammation levels and also support healthy circulation which is important too when you are recovering from the flu or illness.

fire-cider

Turmeric And Ginger

Lingering symptoms from infections can cause inflammation. Horopito, turmeric and ginger have been traditionally used to support healthy inflammation levels. Our Anti-Flam Tonic contains three different varieties of organic, New Zealand turmeric as well as ginger, horopito and black pepper to aid absorption.

Other things you could do is;
  • Add garlic to your cooking or have it raw between two slices of apple (hot tip from Misty Day Plant potions)
  • Add grated turmeric and ginger to your salads and stir-fries
  • Add Ashwagandha (also known as withania) powder to your smoothies 
  • Add astragalus root to your slow cooked stocks (we got ours from our local Asian supermarket).
We know that in our modern world, productivity is most valued so it can feel hard to stop and genuinely give yourself time to rest and recover. If you are unwell, or if you are feeling you are not quite back to ‘normal’ post sickness, maybe this is a chance to re-evaluate things and bring in a couple of the above tips to help support your recovery.

Letting your immune system and body rest, recover and reset is essential to keeping you well.  Hopefully you have found something in this blog of help x

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