It’s turning out to be a really rough cold & flu season with an abundance of different illnesses sweeping the community. A common scenario we experience with our customers & clients here at Vive are those who’ve been unwell, have seemingly recovered but weeks later that classic cough is still hanging around & they’re feeling pretty fatigued & run down. You know, that feeling of feeling just not quiet right?
In actual fact, feeling a bit fatigued after being unwell is somewhat normal (within reason of course), there’s typically a convalescent period after being unwell whilst your body is recovering fully. We just have a tendency to want to get back to our normal routines rather quickly even if our bodies aren’t truly ready for that. In many ways it’s a great time to slow down & re-calibrate. However, we are sympathetic to the fact that many of us simply don’t have the luxury of time.
Luckily there are a number of ways we can support our bodies into full recovery.
Nourishing Slow Cooked Meals
Slow cooking, slow cooking, slow cooking!
Not only are slow cooked meals absolutely delicious they are a powerhouse of easily digestible, readily available nutrients. The act of slow cooking further breaks down proteins making the process of digestion super easy for your body, allowing maximum nutrition for minimum energy.
Load it up with veggies, nourishing bone broth (our favourites are Best of the Bone, Gevity & NutraOrganics) try adding some shiitake mushrooms, ginger & turmeric for an extra anti-inflammatory kick!!!
Herbal medicine works wonders on the recovering immune system. Essentially, the primary goals of herbal treatment are to improve recovery time, restore natural energy & prevent secondary opportunistic infections such as bronchitis taking hold.
We recommend speaking with a Naturopath before taking herbs but here are some suggestions:
A fantastic post-infection tonic with adaptogenic, immune-regulating & immune-restorative properties. Astragalus has been found to improve immune cell function, reducing viral load & aiding in recovery. Astragalus may also improve secretory IgA, an important component of our first line immune defence with our gut.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus)
Siberian ginseng is perfect to use in conjunction with Astragalus to assist in gently improving energy levels during convalescence. Siberian ginseng is specifically indicated for post-viral fatigue states as it helps to increase the bodies resilience to stressors, thereby improving recovery time & susceptibility to secondary infection.
Withania is a traditional Ayurvedic herb with immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory & adaptogenic properties commonly used during periods of chronic stress, fatigue & recovery. Withania helps the body conserve energy, allowing full recovery to take place.
Zinc is essential for healthy immune function, due to it’s ability to regulate immune cell activation & prevent oxidative stress post-infection. The demand for zinc significantly increases during illness, therefore to improve recovery time & reduce risk of secondary infection supplemental zinc may assist greatly.
Vitamin C is not only great for supporting proper immune function but adrenal & nervous system function as well. Vitamin C has been extensively researched for it’s ability to reduce duration of symptoms.
B-Vitamins may help relieve post-flu fatigue by supporting natural energy production & resilience. B-Vitamins also play an important role in regulating immune function & protecting against re-infection.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
NAC is one of our favourite secret weapons here at Vive for many health concerns including respiratory illnesses & post viral syndromes. It possesses many important actions including mucolytic (breaks down mucus), anti-inflammatory & immune supportive activity making it perfect for combating both acute & chronic respiratory & viral infections infections. We often recommend NAC successfully for post-viral cough and chronic lung congestion to support recovery.
Limit Coffee, Alcohol & Refined Sugar
Viruses place a great amount of stress on the body & utilises a significant amount of energy to fight off infection – hence the fatigue. With this in mind, it’s always a great idea to limit anything that places extra stress on the adrenals (i.e. coffee & alcohol) or interferes with immune function until you’re fully recovered. Try a warming turmeric latte or ginger root tea instead.
Take it easy!
Unfortunately, now is not the time to throw yourself back into your intense workouts at the gym. Even though you’re beginning to feel much better your system has just undergone a significant amount of stress, remember a chronic infection such as the flu is seen as a stressful event to the body.
However light exercise such as walking, yoga or Pilates are excellent options as they gently encourage lymphatic flow & circulation around the body, thereby promoting the elimination of infection without placing a great stress on the system. Try a brisk walk in the sunshine for some extra Vitamin D.
If you think any of this relates to you, please feel free to have a chat to one of our friendly in-store Naturopaths or Nutritionists! That’s what we are here for!