A healthy diet can boost your immune system, but if you still happen to catch a cold, or worse, the flu, it's essential in helping you recover faster. Here are the foods you should be eating when you're sick.
A balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep will put your body in the best position to fight off sickness, but sometimes it's just not enough. If you feel a bug coming on, then gulp loads of water, drink plenty of hot tea, and chow down on these five foods to help bolster your body's immune system and keep germs at bay.
A home is supposed to be a safe haven away from the outside world, but it's often the reason we come down with cold or flu viruses. Take back your home and health by doing these five things to ensure you're living in an immunity-boosting environment!
It starts with a few sniffles, a scratchy throat, or a nagging cough. Many times you don't think twice about it, either because you're too busy or you just hope it goes away soon. As soon as those telltale signs of an oncoming cold appear, follow these tips to encourage a speedy recovery.
- Take zinc: When the sniffles strike, take zinc; it's been proven to shorten the life span of colds, as well as make symptoms less severe. The studies found that zinc only works when taken as soon as your cold symptoms begin, so hit the cold aisle as soon as you notice any rundown feelings.
- Make rest a priority: You don't have to quarantine yourself, but you do have to rest. If you feel a cold coming on, don't just ignore it; revamp your schedule so your day includes plenty of rest. Whether that means canceling evening plans or foregoing the DVR for an earlier bedtime, make rest a priority.
- Drink water and tea: Staying hydrated should be your top priority, but that doesn't mean you should reach for sugary sodas or dehydrating cocktails. Keep your water bottle full and drink some warming tea (try our recipes for cold-fighting ginger tea and sage tea for a cough) to hydrate and feel better.
Besides these three things, don't forget to exercise regularly (but not if you're too sick!); it helps build your immunity so you can cut colds short or prevent them from happening in the first place.
There are very few things that are worse than getting sick. Not only will you have pricey medical bills to pay, but you may also have to skip out on work. Fortunately, you can employ plenty of preventative methods to avoid falling ill. We've heard the usual "eat right and exercise" advice, so here are a couple of tactics that you may not have heard of:
- Immune boosters in a pill: Although you've heard of the usual immune boosters like vegetables and fruits, there are a couple of holistic cures you might want to try. There's New Chapter's LifeShield Immunity ($20), which is a supplement made out of a combination of mycelium, fruiting bodies, spores, and extracellular compounds from tonic mushrooms.
- Take ginseng with your vaccine: When you get a flu vaccine, try taking some ginseng with it so you'll bounce back from the effects of the vaccine. There was a study done in which only 13 percent of the group of participants who took ginseng with flu vaccinations caught colds vs. 37 percent of the placebo group.
- Trick yourself psychologically: Don't discount old wives' remedies! Even if you don't have any scientific proof, perhaps the cures have some sort of psychological effect that results in physical effects. For example, a cure for cough that works for me is rubbing vapor rub over my feet and wearing socks at night. Another scientifically disproved treatment is Airborne, which somehow always fends off a cold when I feel one coming on.
Ginger has been used for centuries as an immune system booster, thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. In addition, ginger helps alleviate indigestion and other stomach upsets. Warming and soothing, ginger can also help alleviate respiratory problems like coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. Especially during the upcoming flu season, keep your family healthy with these five kid-friendly preparations of ginger. Get the recipes.
Even though you've taken all the recommended precautions, you still wake up feeling congested, sore, and miserable. The common cold or flu may happen to the best of us, but how we treat ourselves once we're sick can be the difference between a seven-day cold or one that lasts for just a few days.
How many people have you heard coughing and sneezing around you lately? Cold and flu season is already upon us! I am a fan of frequent hand washing as a means of prevention and always keep some sanitizer nearby, but you can do more. You can also prime your immune system to be a fighting machine. Start by eating a well-balanced diet, full of fruits and veggies, to nourish your immune system and try these other techniques to fight the good fight against the germs of the season.
Swedish massages are good for many things: relieving tension, destressing, taking a much-needed mind break. And now there's scientific proof that all that time you spend with soft hands and aromatic oils can be good for your health. The study compared Swedish massage to light touch only and found that just one 45-minute massage session increased white blood cell counts, which are an important part of your immune system, and had other measurable health benefits as well. With flu season just around the corner, keeping your immune system in tip-top shape is vital, but a day at the spa may not be the most cost-effective option. For cheaper doctor-tested immune-boosting alternatives, read more
Not only does overeating make you digestive system work overtime, but it also does a doozy on your brain.
American scientists recently found that overeating stimulates a usually dormant immune pathway in the brain. Once stimulated the brain then sounds the alarm for the immune system to battle invaders that aren't really there. The overactive immune system then creates an inflammation response all over the body. Chronic inflammation leads to chronic disease like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The pathway between the hypothalamus, the brain center that regulates energy, and the immune system is usually inactive — a remnant of an immune system that we have evolved beyond needing. It seems that "overnutrition," a scientific term (or euphemism?) for overeating has stimulated this vestigial immune system and the consequences are making us ill.
While scientists hope this discovery can lead to a medical intervention for obesity and obesity-related illnesses, it is just another reminder that moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle.