Home > Medical > Colds and flu > Treatment advertorial Updated 12 October 2017 How to beat colds and flu naturally Do you suffer from colds and flu every year? There is much you can do to help your body recover naturally, and to avoid getting it in the first place. 0 Shutterstock Related Natural relief from spring colds 7 flu myths Flu-proof your home Quiz Is it a cold, sinusitis or flu? » Quiz Daily vitamin and mineral doses » Why you should get the flu jab 6 Ways to avoid getting sick Do you suffer from colds and flu every year? There is much you can do to help your body recover naturally, and to avoid getting sick in the first place. This is an extract from UK nutritionist Patrick Holford's latest book Good Medicine - Safe, natural ways to solve over 75 common health problems: General informationWhen your immune system is fighting off an infection, it takes energy, so it’s important to rest and avoid stress.Also, the immune system works more efficiently when you are hotter – this is why the body produces a fever to fight off an infection – so keep warm and take warm baths. Eat well, but don’t eat too much; conserve your energy for fighting the infection.Act fast. Viruses survive by breaking into your body’s cells and reprogramming those cells to make more viruses. By acting quickly in the first 24 hours, you can stop that happening. Don’t wait until it’s too late.There’s some evidence that those who supplement probiotics on a regular basis recover from colds faster.Best foodsGinger (use in juice and teas and to soothe sore throats)Carrots and carrot juiceWater (drink lots)BerriesMontmorency cherry juice (Cherry Active)Fish/beans (pulses) for proteinRaw nuts and seeds Worst FoodsDairy products (often mucus forming)Sugar and refined foodsToo many carbs, such as lots of bread and cerealsBest supplements1 000mg vitamin C every hour (ideally one with zinc and berry extracts). Why? Keep drip-feeding enough vitamin C into your bloodstream to keep the level consistently high.10 drops of echinacea every 2 hours. Why? It contains special kinds of polysaccharides, such as inulin, which increase macrophage production, which are the immune cells that destroy bugs.1 teaspoon, or equivalent, of black elderberry extract every 2 hours. Why? Viruses get into body cells by puncturing their walls with tiny spikes made of a substance called haemagglutinin and an extract of elderberry disarms these spikes.1 x high-potency multivitamin–mineral with 15 mcg of vitamin D and 10mg zinc. Why? Zinc has been shown to make the body’s T cells much more effective, hence boosting immunity.1 x 1 000iu (25mcg) vitamin D a day during the winter (for immune protection rather than immediate effect). Why? If you rarely go outside, exposing your skin to direct sunlight, your body won’t make any vitamin D.(This is an extract from Patrick Holford's book Good Medicine - Safe, natural ways to solve over 75 common health problems. Published by Piatkus UK and available from all good bookstores nationwide.)(Photo of woman drinking ginger tea from Shutterstock)Read more:8 natural cold remedies5 immune-boosting tips NEXT ON HEALTH24X The benefits of a healthy skin 2017-12-13 12:00 More: Colds and fluTreatment advertisement From our sponsors Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal online store voucher!