Yep, it’s here. I hate to break the news... Cold and flu season is upon us. So let’s talk about prevention! Read our family’s strategies below and learn how to strengthen your immune system and naturally prevent the cold and flu. Then, watch my video on how to make an easy cold and flu prevention tonic (AKA Switchel or Haymakers Punch) that your whole family will love!
[This post contains affiliate links so you can easily purchase items I discuss. If you choose to purchase a suggested item, your pricing stays the same, but I earn a small commission to support the efforts of my blog. See my full disclosure here.]
Did you know the majority of our immune system resides in our gut? It really does! Luckily, there are some simple, holistic ways we can strengthen our immune system to prevent colds and flu this season. I’ll also show you how to make an easy cold and flu prevention tonic, also known as Switchel or Haymaker’s Punch. My kids even love it!
Seasonal Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
1. Hand Washing
Yes, it’s insanely simple, and you hear it (or say it!) ALL of the time, but do you REALLY wash your hands often enough or long enough? For example, when you first walk into the house, this is the perfect time to hit the suds. I’ve heard that 20 seconds is the appropriate duration to kill the germs.
A helpful way to keep the time while washing hands is to sing the ABC’s in your head as you scrub. In our family, we have a hand washing saying, “front, back and in between!” This routine helps my kids remember to get ALL parts of their hands scrubbed and clean. Not just their palms. BONUS TIP: Stop germs, bacteria, and toxins from getting any further than the front door and also remove your shoes. 🙂
Be sure you are taking a high-quality Probiotic and don’t forget the kids! It is a must in our house that we all take our probiotics every morning! While we can’t always control the healthy bacteria that are destroyed in our gut by toxins in our food and water, we CAN control what we add back into our gut flora. Without enough healthy bacteria, our immune system becomes compromised.
Adding healthy probiotics to your diet is a MUST and can also include fermented foods like Keifer, raw sauerkraut and kombucha. If fermented foods aren’t your thing, you want to find a probiotic supplement with several different strains of the healthy bacteria listed. The more the merrier in this case.
For those with an already compromised gut (Celiac, IBS, Chron’s, autoimmune diseases), Prescript-Assist is a trusted probiotic highly recommended in the real-food community available here. Another great dairy-free and vegan probiotic is Nutrition Now’s PB-8 that you can find on Amazon and at most grocery stores including Kroger/King Soopers. This one is what we add to our kids morning smoothies! Just be sure to get the green bottle if you need a vegan, dairy-free probiotic supplement.
Moral of the story, if you aren’t already taking a high-quality probiotic supplement daily, please add that to your shopping list right now. It absolutely makes a difference!
3. Vitamin D3
Viatmin D3 is the sunshine vitamin and most adults, regardless of where you live, are deficient. Even those who live in the sunshine states! To find out if you are deficient, you can ask your doctor for a simple blood test to check this level along with other key nutrients. When you visit your doctor for your annual physical (you are, right?), they can just add this simple test along with any others you may need. HINT: ask your doc to check B-12 and Magnesium too because we are often deficient, especially as we age).
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is a tart liquid that has many health advantages. It’s full of antioxidant properties and promotes a healthy gut, plus many other benefits I discuss in my video below. Click the video image below, and I’ll show you how you can make a healthy tonic that you and your family will enjoy drinking each morning. Even those who don’t like the taste of ACV are won over with this honey-sweetened recipe. 🙂
If you have a Costco near you, you may find raw, organic, ACV in glass bottles. You can also purchase ACV here on Amazon. Either way, just be sure it says RAW on the label. If it is heated or pasteurized, you loose ALL of the health benefits. And yes, the cloudy floaters are supposed to be in each bottle, so not to worry. They are completely safe and beneficial.
WATCH MY LIVE VIDEO: How to make this EASY, five-ingredient, cold and flu prevention tonic
Move over Kombucha! Enjoy this wonderful, cold and flu prevention tonic also known as Switchel or Haymaker's Punch. It's easy to make and can be used as a daily tonic or as a lovely drink.
- 1/2 cup raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup raw honey (molasses or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice (or lemon juice)
- In a quart sized, wide-mouth ball jar, combine all ingredients.
- Fill the rest of the container with filtered water.
- Shake and enjoy daily as a tonic (2-4 TBS) or over ice for a refreshing drink.
This is a great tonic to give a tablespoon (or more if they enjoy it) each day to kids.
We love to double this Switchel recipe and then dilute it with sparkling water once we serve it (otherwise the bubbles fizz out too fast). It's a lot less expensive than Kombucha and satisfies that bubbly taste.
Other variations to try: - Add a few splashes of Cranberry, Pomegranate or Cherry juice. Just be cautious of added sugar. - Instead of honey, you can also substitute maple syrup or molasses to fit your diet.
Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook page and let us know when you try this recipe. We can’t wait to hear how you love it!
How do YOU prevent the cold and flu?
Love and Peace,
SHOP MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS Used in the Video: