You know that feeling, that run down, achy feeling when a cold is coming on. Sometimes there’s no avoiding the inevitable but I’m all for fighting back (or at least feeling better faster). February is peak flu season so there’s no time like the present to take preventative measures against getting sick. Here’s my no fail plan for stopping a cold in its tracks!
Easier said than done, I know. But one of the reasons you feel so low energy during a cold is because your immune system is working in overdrive. So do yourself a favor and take the day off of work and stay in bed. If you’re too congested to rest, prop yourself up with a pillow and run a humidifier with a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to breathe easier.
When I feel yucky I crave hot beverages. Keeping your body warm helps it fight infections, and hot beverages can also soothe an irritated throat and thin out congestion. My favorite feel better beverage is turmeric tea or a simple soothing tea made with a few slices of ginger and lemon and sweetened with honey. You can also try broth, herbal teas and old fashioned chicken soup. Soup is not only soothing and comforting, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps clear congestion.
When I’m not feeling great, my tolerance for water is zero. But we all know that staying hydrated is key to feeling better fast, and juicing is a great way to deliver a concentrated dose of vitamins and antioxidants. Try one of these cold-fighting juices packed with vitamin C and healing superfoods. Not a juicing fan? You can still up your vitamin C intake by infusing water with citrus or berries.
4. Up Your Probiotic Intake
My other favorite cold-killing beverage is kombucha for a mega dose of healthy probiotics. Probiotics can shorten the length of a cold and reduce symptom severity (source), and taken regularly, probiotics help regulate the bacteria in your gut, keeping your intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs.
Ready for the fun one? Raw garlic! This immune-boosting food contains allicin, a compound that helps fight off cold symptoms and can even reduce the length of a cold if symptoms do appear. For best results you need to consume it raw. Mash up a few cloves and eat with a small spoonful of raw honey or simply eat a couple raw cloves every week. (Trust us, it’s not that bad!)
When I start to get sick I also start to stress out. ‘I can’t get sick! There’s too much to do!’ This is where a nice long soak comes in handy to relax your mind and help your body fight infection. A mustard and ginger bath is a great way to sweat out toxins or these sinus-soothing bath salts can soothe a stuffy nose.
7. Skip the sugar and booze
And one thing you should stop doing is consuming cocktails and snacking on Girl Scout Cookies. Both alcohol and sugar suppress the immune system, making it harder for your body to prevent getting infections as well as fighting them off. Plus they can interfere with any over-the-counter medicines you’re taking. So it’s best to eliminate both from your diet until you’re back to you’re old self.
What do you do when you start feeling sick? Let us know your favorite natural ways to prevent a cold!4