Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Season for Sniffles and Such

By Malia Curran, November 12, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Malia Curran
colds1 Cold and flu season is no joke. But rather than simply hoping you don't catch a bug, focus on getting prepared with knowledge, intention and - you may have guessed - stocked shelves! Plus, since getting sick is part of being human, let's also look at ways to get better faster when the sniffles do strike. So, what are the wellness tasks that help keep us on top of our game? Hopefully some of these are already habits, or soon to be adopted ones:
  • Wash your hands. "Hands down" the number one thing to stay well is to keep your hands clean. Both cold and flu viruses are passed from person to person through direct contact, coughing and sneezing. Viruses are plentiful on surfaces, and the ones for the common cold (rhinovirus) are still alive three hours after contact. Not around a sink? Try hand wipes or sprays such as EO Hand Sanitizing Spray with Organic Peppermint Essential Oil. It's naturally antiseptic, energizing and invigorating.
  • Drink plenty of water. Cells in the body need to be hydrated to engage their strongest defenses. Specifically, cell membranes are most able to defend themselves against viruses when they are flexible and moist. Aim for the recommended eight glasses a day.
  • Eat immune-supportive foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide the body with essential nutritional building blocks such as vitamins A, C, selenium, zinc, essential fatty acids and various bioflavonoids that help build important white blood cells and other various components of the immune system. Dark leafy greens and bright yellow and orange vegetables contain beta-carotene and other immune-boosting carotenoids, such as lutein and lycopene. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and radishes all contain powerful phytochemicals. Other immune enhancing foods include green tea, fermented milk products, such as yogurt and kefir, as well as common kitchen spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, allspice and ginger. In addition, it's a good idea to replace refined sugar with fresh fruit, 100% fruit juice, or unrefined sweeteners such as brown rice syrup or agave syrup.
  • Consider immune-supportive formulas. When you're on the go and need a little extra help staying well, it may be smart to give your immune a boost with well-researched combinations of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Formulas such as Source Naturals Wellness Formula® are specifically designed to effectively improve overall wellbeing and enhance immune support.
colds2If (when) you do come down with something, the smartest way to get better fast is to learn to listen to your body. When you start to feel run down, give your body the break it needs. The power of the mind is amazing, but pretending you're not sick is not the answer. Take care of yourself! Here are some of our suggestions to soothe your symptoms, one sniffle at a time:
  • Wellness Formulas. Mentioned above, these combinations are also helpful for getting back on track. They are especially helpful when under the physical stress that sickness brings.
  • Elderberry. This is a fruit extract found in popular cold and flu syrups that has been shown to decrease severity of symptoms as well as shorten the duration of cold and flu. Noted for its good taste, this syrup is packed with powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanins. Use quality products made from elderberry extract such as Gaia Herbs Rapid Relief Black Elderberry Syrup rather than the fresh plant.
  • Neti pots or nasal flushes with warm slightly-salted water can help bring relief from congestion and sinus pressure during a cold. Neti pots are specifically designed for nasal flushes, with easy to use spouts and handles.
  • Try Homeopathy. Help the body ward off full-blown flu with homeopathic remedies. When taken at the first sign of sickness, these therapeutic diluted micro-doses of natural substances can provide temporary relief of symptoms including fever, chills and body aches. Try 365 Flu Ease when you think you may have the flu.
  • Time-tested soothing botanicals such as eucalyptus, fennel and aloe vera. Found in cooling and aromatic bath products such as Kiss My Face Cold & Flu Shower & Bath Gel, with no animal ingredients, artificial colors or unnecessary chemicals. These botanicals can make a sick day more bearable, or just put some pep in your everyday step.
Let us know what you think about our suggestions, and as always, please share some of your own! Most importantly, have a safe and happy holiday season full of thanks (and wellness!)
Category: Whole Body




Roger says ...
I was with you 100% until the homeopathy part. Countless empirical double-blind studies have failed to prove any benefit to homeopathic therapies.
11/12/2009 9:17:28 AM CST
Food Makes Fun Fuel says ...
That's interesting. I've never had an elderberry but they seem like a great fruit to try I think proper eating and regular exercise are the best defence
11/12/2009 10:08:01 AM CST
elyse says ...
I was starting to feel like I was getting a cold, and one of the employees at Whole Foods recommended-- "QUANTUM HERBAL PRODUCTS Organic and Wildcrafted Cold & Flu Formula" -- I felt much better the next day!
11/12/2009 10:59:52 AM CST
Janett Camps says ...
Yesterday was my first day in your Store...Was great!!! but I'm felling really sad, because the humans putting down our nature, destroy our nature, our food, with the "plastic food", bad food, and misery life...now, the humans are trying to return to the benefits our world has for us... but is sad... About your store...is really great...incredible...and pretty, My husband and me felling s a go place for go to enjoy all time the life...Thanks for the great conditions and everything in your store, Janett- Cuban
11/12/2009 1:05:23 PM CST
lynnm says ...
The second I start to feel the seasonal sniffles & blahs, I find the closest store with WishGarden's Kick-Ass Immune Boost and feel better sooner.
11/14/2009 3:16:11 PM CST
Sharon says ...
Receiving all of your vitamins and minerals everyday is tough but I have some great recommendations on how to ward-off a cold...it is simple, just take Vitamin D. For more information on the health benefits on vitamin D and the best way for your body to absorb the vitamin, you can visit my blog: http://www.shar-on-nutrition.com/?p=52 feel free to leave a comment or question! :) :)
11/16/2009 2:18:48 PM CST
Dana Marie says ...
Do you have an E link to the recipe in the handout titled :Better than Chicken Soup:? It is really delicious - I just made it and would like to have an electronic copy to share with people.
11/29/2009 3:34:23 PM CST
Health Guy says ...
This was very informative. Now I know how to counter flu.
01/11/2010 3:24:35 AM CST
David says ...
Homeopathy is highly effective if taken correctly. The problem is people often blindly take products not knowing which one they need, and they purchase products which do not adequate purity and potency. My family has been using homeopathic remedies for about a year, and they have worked tremendously well, much better than the prescription drugs some doctor haphazardly prescribes. Give homeopathy another look, but do your research first and use someone knowledgeable and experienced to help.
05/21/2010 9:30:50 AM CDT
Jordana Capra says ...
I wish I could type in a product and see if it is my local store and what the price is. ...It's a new Millennium after all...
12/29/2012 12:32:26 AM CST
Rebecca H. says ...
I'm looking for Kick Ass Immune Booster in liquid drops - what prices and selection do you have???
01/11/2014 9:10:02 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@REBECCA - Our prices and selection will vary between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what they have in stock.
01/13/2014 11:28:07 AM CST
Susan says ...
A friend of mine recommended a nasal spray you carry called SPRAY. It contains an ingredient called Xylitol to help keep the nasal passages somewhat disinfected? I'm not seeing anything on your web site. Can you help?
09/25/2014 7:25:44 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SUSAN - We do not currently offer online ordering of our products since our exact options differ between stores. Check with the store closest to you to see if they have this in stock. If you do not live near a store, you can call our Austin store at 512-542-2243 to see if their store has it in stock and if so, they can ship within the US!
09/26/2014 12:17:37 PM CDT
donn says ...
Please send me a list of the liquid skin antiseptic products that you carry.
01/02/2015 1:52:11 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DONN - Our exact product options differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see what they have in stock.
01/02/2015 11:10:47 AM CST