What to Do About the Flu

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Vitamin section in the Sprouts storeStave off that winter bug with some good old-fashioned natural remedies from Sprouts.

Less Sugar, More Spice, Keeps Everything Nice

Refined white sugars can tax the immune system, so keep sweets to a minimum when nursing a cold or flu and give your body a fighting chance. That goes for refined white flour as well, so avoid cakes, cookies, pies and bread. If you need to cave in to that carb craving or satiate that sweet tooth, try items made with sprouted grains and sugar alternatives, which may be easier on the immune system. Coconut sugar, honey, stevia and agave nectar are all good sweeteners that could fill the bill. Also, sip on warm ginger or cinnamon teas. The warmth of both spices comforts the body and the hot liquid can help loosen up congestion. Ginger has been shown to support digestion, allowing the body to better absorb some key nutrients. Cinnamon is known to help with blood sugar. Sprouts carries many excellent brands and flavors, like Yogi Ginger Tea, Tazo Herbal Green Ginger Tea, and Cinnamon Apple Chamomile by Stash. You can also try a pinch of cayenne pepper in some warm water with a splash of lemon juice. Cayenne is another warming spice and is rich in beta-carotene, a known immunity booster, and is also said to be supportive for relieving congestion.

Victorious Vitamins and Super Supplements

Among the herbal remedies that can supposedly help ameliorate cold and flu symptoms are: Echinacea, ginseng, zinc and elderberry (also known as sambucus—it’s available as a syrup and is sweet, so you won’t have a hard time getting the kiddos to take a dose). Spend some time browsing our Vitamin Department for a wide variety of herbs, homeopathic remedies, vitamins and supplements that will help build and maintain a healthy immune system to keep you in fighting form! Finally, if you are like us you can never remember whether you are supposed to “feed a fever, starve a cold”—or the other way around. There is a lot of internet intel on this topic, most of which points to the very un-alliterative answer of “feed a cold, starve a fever.” However, according to WebMD, starving is never the answer. To those of us in the food business, that sounds right. No matter how you are feeling, the smart thing to do is always eat foods that are high in antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C, and drink plenty of liquids.