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A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO STAVE OFF ILLNESS

Old folk wisdom says that cold weather causes sickness. But does cold weather really cause sickness? Well, not exactly.

Cooler temps don’t directly cause seasonal illnesses, such as the cold and flu. But the viruses that cause these illnesses do spread more easily at temperatures below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—the average body temperature for humans. A recent study found that the majority of infections occur when the outside temperature is 32 degrees or lower.

Cold weather can also negatively impact the immune system. That’s due to several reasons. In the winter, vitamin D levels decrease with lowered sun exposure. Vitamin D levels have been linked to a healthy immune system. We also spend more me indoors, making it easier for viruses to spread from person to person. And a lowered immune response combined with narrowed blood vessels from cold temperatures make the body more susceptible to unfriendly pathogens.

The average adult has 2 to 3 colds per year. Spread throughout your lifetime, that’s enough illness to keep you sick in bed for an entire year. An additional 5% to 20% of America’s adult population comes down with the flu each year. Colds are the No. 1 reason people are absent from school and work.

While there’s no way to completely prevent cold and flu from derailing your life, there are ways to boost your natural immunity so that when a virus does come along, it will hit you less hard or skip you altogether.


HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM NATURALLY

Before we talk about ways to boost the immune system, you need to beer understand how the immune system works. Just like a car or a computer program, knowing how the systems in your body work means you become more capable of finding soluons to fix bugs and breaks.

Every living thing is suscepble to aacks from disease-causing agents such as viruses, bacteria, and microbes. When these substances aack and begin to mulply in your body, the immune system springs into place, acvang white blood cells, anbodies, and other mechanisms to fight off the foreign invader.

"
BECAUSE THE COLD
AND FLU ARE
VIRUSES, ANTIBIOTICS
WON'T WORK

"

Because the cold and flu are viruses, antibiocs won’t work. In fact, they will most likely make the problem worse. The two most common conventional remedies are vaccines— which are administered before the illness has a chance to strike—and over-the-counter medications. The flu vaccine creates antibodies for three to four specific strains of the flu virus that are activated when you come in contact with the virus, helping you fight off the virus more quickly. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. The vaccine is safe, and serious allergic reactions are extremely rare

Vaccines, however, can’t fight off the common cold. That’s where, in a typical case, OTC medicaons come into play. These medicaons, however, can only relieve symptoms of the cold. They can’t shorten the me you are sick, and they may have serious side effects of their own.

COLD & FLU MEDICATIONS

Aren't safe or effective for kids

Can cause high blood pressure

Can cause liver damage

Can cause irregular heartbeat

It also causes other dangerous side effects in adults, especially when taken in combination with other medications.

The best defense is a proactive focus on building a strong immune system, both before illness hits and while it’s in full swing. Here are five reasons to use natural immune boosters:

 

  • Get sick less often. People who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables get sick less often. Eating nutrient-dense foods is one of the best ways to boost the immune system!

 

  • Avoid getting sick at all. When you’re stressed, eating poorly, or not sleeping enough, you’re more likely to get sick. Tending our immune system with healthy habits can help us avoid getting sick in the first place.

 

  • Reduce severity and duration of illness. Eating immune-boosting foods, choosing supplements wisely, and making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce symptom severity and cut down on the length of an illness by several days.

 

  • Increase overall well-being. Immunity increases as overall well-being does, and many methods for boosting immunity have system-wide effects on your body and quality of life.

 

  • Avoid icky side effects. Who wants to take a medication for the cold or flu, just to suffer from equally debilitating side effects? Natural remedies can help you avoid the effects.

NATURAL METHODS TO BOOST IMMUNITY

The immune system is complex, with many moving parts, so there is no single way to boost immunity. But we do each have a natural toolkit that can help us biohack our immune system, defending us from illness and helping us beer weather any viruses we do catch.


Eat these powerful immunity-boosting foods.

Your immune system is incredibly sensitive to the micronutrients you put in your body. In other words, you can get your macronutrients— fat, protein, and carbs—just right, but still be doing your health a disservice by not taking in enough micronutrients. In particular, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, D3 and E are all necessary micronutrients for boosting the immune system.

IMMUNE BOOSTING
MICRONUTRIENTS

Zinc

Selenium

Iron

Copper

Folic Acid

Vitamin A

Vitamin B6

Vitamin C

Vitamin D3

Vitamin E

Try these immunity-boosting foods:

 

  • Dark green vegetables: like kale, broccoli, and spinach contain high levels of vitamin C and anoxidants.

 

  • Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, grapefruits, clemennes, and limes—are pumped through with vitamin C.

 

  • Tea—green, white, or black—has incredible anoxidant levels.

 

  • Garlic, ginger, and turmeric all possess an-inflammatory benefits.

 

  • Papaya and kiwi are high in vitamin C.

 

  • Yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut soothe your gut with probiocs.

 

  • Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are packed with healthy fats and vitamin E.

 

  • Oily fish, like salmon or tuna, contain lots of omega-3 fay acids.

 

  • Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in beta carotene.

 

Use supplements & probiotics wisely.

The best way to stock up on micronutrients is by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods. But sometimes, supplements help you get all the way to healthy nutrient levels. Evaluate your eating habits, and take stock of which areas might need the most supplementation.

 

  • Echinacea. This herb is not only helpful for treang illness, but also improves the immune system’s response to invaders and enhances the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

 

  • Vitamins A, B6, C, D3, and E. Yep, it helps to eat the alphabet! Deficiencies of each of these vitamins have been shown to weaken the immune response.

 

  • Probiotics. The immune system is inextricably intertwined with the gut. Boosting healthy bacteria in the gut has a more powerful immune effect than almost any other supplement.

 

  • Zinc. Like vitamin C, zinc can help fight infections and reduce the severity of those infections that do take hold.

ESSENTIAL OILS TO ADD TO
YOUR ROUTINE

Cinnamon

Clove

Lemon

Tea Tree

Rosemary

Incorporate essenTIal oils into your routine.

Several essential oils have powerful anti-fungal, antiviral, antibiotic effects. Stimulate your immune system with cinnamon, clove, lemon, tea tree, and rosemary oils. Diffuse throughout your house, add to cleaning products, or mix with a carrier oil and apply directly to your skin on a regular basis.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, and there are no shortcuts to being well-rested. Getting enough sleep has powerful effects on the immune system, making it less likely you’ll get sick and decreasing the duration of the illness if you do fall ill. Sleep deprivation decreases production of infection-fighting cytokines and antibodies. In short, your body needs sleep to fend off illnesses. To learn more about setting up a healthy sleep routine of your own, check out our comprehensive Sleep Guide.


STAY ACTIVE.

Exercising can prevent the growth of bacteria and slows down the release of stress hormones, in turn reducing the likelihood of illness.


WASH YOUR HANDS, AND FOLLOW RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE.

Duh. Washing your hands is important. But most of us aren’t doing it right—or doing it at all. Hand-washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of pathogens. Wash your hands every me you sneeze, blow your nose, cough, or touch used tissues. Also wash your hands before eating or touching your nose or mouth. Use warm water and soap, and wash your hands for 20 seconds. In a pinch, use antibacterial gel or hand wipes. Cover your nose and mouth in the crook of your elbow when sneezing or coughing, and don’t share food, beverages, lipstick, or anything else that might spread respiratory germs.


KEEP COMMON AREAS CLEAN.

Wipe counters down with a natural cleaner after cutting meat, and clean and disinfect commonly touched areas such as doorknobs and counter tops on a regular basis. Keep a supply of disposable wipes on-hand to wipe off phones, keyboards, and other frequently used items. Being “too clean” doesn’t make us sicker—routine cleaning can help get rid of infectious pathogens and decrease our likelihood of getting sick in the first place.


CUT DOWN ON STRESS.

When you’re stressed, your immune system lets down its guard, making you more susceptible to infection. Unhealthy coping strategies, such as smoking and drinking, can also do damage to your immunity. Although it’s difficult to completely remove stress from your life, work to identify the most frequent stressors you encounter and evaluate whether you can eliminate or lessen their impact. You can also try stress-reducing practices such as yoga and meditation.


HOME REMEDIES FOR COLD AND FLU WHEN SICKNESS STRIKES

If only immunity were foolproof. Viruses are tenacious, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, they take hold. Luckily, there are plenty of natural healing remedies you can call on to help you feel better, quicker—not only reducing the length of your cold, but reducing the severity of symptoms, too.

EAT NOURISHING FOODS.

Follow some baseline rules when you’re sick: Choose simple, easy-to-digest foods that are full of nutrients and low in sugar, and limit caffeine and alcohol. Here are some suggestions for nutrient-dense, healing meals and snacks to give your body the energy it needs to fight off illness.

 

  • Chicken-vegetable soup. There’s no better sick food than this classic, which contains enough healing nutrients to make a noticeable difference in reducing upper respiratory symptoms, according to one story.

 

  • Stir-fry with broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, chili pepper and garlic. Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, while mushrooms are packed with vitamin D. Dark green veggies like broccoli are full of healing antioxidants, while chili pepper brings enough heat to loosen congestion. And garlic, packed with immune-boosting compounds, has long been lauded for its healing properties.

 

  • Yogurt with berries and citrus. Probiotics keep your immune system stocked up, while berries pack an antioxidant punch and citrus offers a vitamin C boost.

 

  • Ginger tea with lemon & honey. Ginger is great for all kinds of ailments. This spicy root helps clear congestion and keep you warm, while lemon and honey ease a sore throat. Level up with manuka honey for an anti-inflammatory, antiviral bonus.

 

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, banana & walnuts. Oatmeal and bananas are bland but soothing—and the yellow fruit also offers electrolyte-balancing, immune-boosting benefits, while oats contain beta glucan, zinc, and selenium, all of which help decrease inflammation and bolster the immune system. Cinnamon has powerful antiviral effects, while walnuts are one of the top anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing foods.

 

  • Bone broth or miso. Miso, made from fermented soybeans, boosts the immune system with vitamins B and E and plenty of antioxidants. It also soothes the gut with built-in probiotics. And bone broth is packed with amino acids that ease inflammation and boost immunity. Drinking either broth warm can ease congestion and bump up hydration.

 

  • Eggs with spinach. Cooked spinach is easy to digest and chock-full of antioxidants, while eggs are a nutrient-dense superfood (and comfort food!) packed with protein and B vitamins.

 

TRY COLD FIGHTING SUPPLEMENTS.

Supplements won’t cure your illness immediately—but some have been shown to reduce the length and symptoms of the common cold.

 

  • Vitamin C. While this powerful vitamin hasn’t been shown to be particularly helpful in preventing colds, those who take it regularly reduce the duration of their cold by a day or more.

 

  • Echinacea. Some studies show that echinacea purpura can reduce the length and severity of colds by anywhere from 10% to 30%. You can purchase echinacea in tea, tablet, or lozenge form.

 

  • Zinc. Zinc is a vital mineral for your immune system, and taking regular doses of zinc while you’re sick can help reduce the duration of your cold by up to a day.

 

  • Elderberry. A specific formulation of elderberry extract, sambucol, appears to reduce the duration of the flu by more than half while also providing symptom relief. This fruit seems to block viruses from spreading.

 

 

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

Forget your normal workout routine for a minute. Don’t keep going with work and social commitments. Chill out and let your body heal.

  • Rest. Get as much sleep as you can—naps are A-OK. Your body needs all the rest it can get. And don’t attempt to stick to your normal exercise routine, either.

 

  • Wear layers. Take it easy and bundle up—instead of using energy to work out and stay warm, your body can devote its energy to fighting the virus.

 

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, tea, and warm beverages to stave off dehydration. A good rule of thumb is six to eight cups per day, increasing that number if you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

 

SOOTHE A SORE THROAT WITH THESE NATURAL REMEDIES.

What can you do for a sore throat? A lot, it turns out. Try these natural options for instant relief.

  • Hot tea. Warm beverages soothe an aching throat like nothing else can. Try an herbal tea such as slippery elm, marshmallow root, or licorice root, and add a drizzle of honey for extra-soothing relief.

 

  • Warm salt water gargle. Salt acts like a magnet for the water in your throat, pulling the virus out with it and creating a barrier that prevents more pathogens from settling in. Any type of salt works fine.

 

  • Ice chips. Sucking on chipped ice can cool the throat, reducing pain and inflammation.

 

EASE CONGESTION, WITHOUT THE CHEMICALS.

You don’t have to resort to decongestants to ease respiratory symptoms. Each of these natural methods can help you breathe easier in a jiffy.

 

  • Salt water rinse. Just like gargling with salt water helps pull the virus from your body, rinsing your nose with salt water can help remove the virus and reduce congestion. You can also use a Neti pot to flush out mucus and relieve sinus symptoms.

 

  • Use an extra pillow. Elevate your head by a few inches at night so you can breathe easier and wake up less congested.

 

  • Humidifier or steam with essential oils. Turn on the humidifier or run a warm shower, then diffuse drops of congestion-clearing eucalyptus, menthol, or peppermint.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON COLD AND FLU, ANSWERED

WHEN SHOULD I STAY HOME FROM WORK OR SCHOOL?

Although the common cold is contagious, unless you work in close physical contact with others, usually rigorous hand-washing is enough to stop the spread of pathogens. But if you work with vulnerable populations, such as infants and the elderly, you should stay away. Stay home from work if you have a fever, an uncontrollable cough, or severe muscle aches. You should also call out sick if you are taking a medication that makes you feel drowsy or if you simply feel too tired or achy to function properly at work. Remember, rest is the best medicine—taking some time off work might actually help you arrive at your desk, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sooner.

HOW LONG DOES THE COMMON COLD LAST?

Colds usually last between 7 and 10 days, although they can run anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on the strength of your immune system and the particular strain of virus.

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?

If symptoms persist or get worse after 10 days, you should see a doctor. In addition, infants, cancer and HIV patients, and adults over 65 are particularly vulnerable to the flu and should visit a doctor if they experience flu-like symptoms.

WHEN DOES THE COLD & FLU STOP BEING CONTAGIOUS?

As long as you still have active symptoms—a cough, congestion, runny nose, or out-of-the-norm fatigue—you’ve still got the virus, and you’re still contagious. Typically, colds are most contagious the day before symptoms start and the first five days that you’re ill. As your symptoms decrease, the risk of contagion goes down. As for the flu, you will most likely be contagious for about a week, although symptoms might stop before then.

FIND YOUR CHI.
BE HEALTHY.
LIVE HAPPY.

A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO HEALTH AND WELLNESS
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO STAVE OFF ILLNESS

Old folk wisdom says that cold weather causes sickness. But does cold weather really cause sickness? Well, not exactly.

Cooler temps don’t directly cause seasonal illnesses, such as the cold and flu. But the viruses that cause these illnesses do spread more easily at temperatures below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—the average body temperature for humans. A recent study found that the majority of infections occur when the outside temperature is 32 degrees or lower.

Cold weather can also negatively impact the immune system. That’s due to several reasons. In the winter, vitamin D levels decrease with lowered sun exposure. Vitamin D levels have been linked to a healthy immune system. We also spend more me indoors, making it easier for viruses to spread from person to person. And a lowered immune response combined with narrowed blood vessels from cold temperatures make the body more susceptible to unfriendly pathogens.

The average adult has 2 to 3 colds per year. Spread throughout your lifetime, that’s enough illness to keep you sick in bed for an entire year. An additional 5% to 20% of America’s adult population comes down with the flu each year. Colds are the No. 1 reason people are absent from school and work.

While there’s no way to completely prevent cold and flu from derailing your life, there are ways to boost your natural immunity so that when a virus does come along, it will hit you less hard or skip you altogether.


HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM NATURALLY

Before we talk about ways to boost the immune system, you need to beer understand how the immune system works. Just like a car or a computer program, knowing how the systems in your body work means you become more capable of finding soluons to fix bugs and breaks.

Every living thing is suscepble to aacks from disease-causing agents such as viruses, bacteria, and microbes. When these substances aack and begin to mulply in your body, the immune system springs into place, acvang white blood cells, anbodies, and other mechanisms to fight off the foreign invader.

"
BECAUSE THE COLD
AND FLU ARE
VIRUSES, ANTIBIOTICS
WON'T WORK

"

Because the cold and flu are viruses, antibiocs won’t work. In fact, they will most likely make the problem worse. The two most common conventional remedies are vaccines— which are administered before the illness has a chance to strike—and over-the-counter medications. The flu vaccine creates antibodies for three to four specific strains of the flu virus that are activated when you come in contact with the virus, helping you fight off the virus more quickly. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. The vaccine is safe, and serious allergic reactions are extremely rare

Vaccines, however, can’t fight off the common cold. That’s where, in a typical case, OTC medicaons come into play. These medicaons, however, can only relieve symptoms of the cold. They can’t shorten the me you are sick, and they may have serious side effects of their own.

COLD & FLU MEDICATIONS

Aren't safe or effective for kids

Can cause high blood pressure

Can cause liver damage

Can cause irregular heartbeat

It also causes other dangerous side effects in adults, especially when taken in combination with other medications.

The best defense is a proactive focus on building a strong immune system, both before illness hits and while it’s in full swing. Here are five reasons to use natural immune boosters:

 

  • Get sick less often. People who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables get sick less often. Eating nutrient-dense foods is one of the best ways to boost the immune system!

 

  • Avoid getting sick at all. When you’re stressed, eating poorly, or not sleeping enough, you’re more likely to get sick. Tending our immune system with healthy habits can help us avoid getting sick in the first place.

 

  • Reduce severity and duration of illness. Eating immune-boosting foods, choosing supplements wisely, and making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce symptom severity and cut down on the length of an illness by several days.

 

  • Increase overall well-being. Immunity increases as overall well-being does, and many methods for boosting immunity have system-wide effects on your body and quality of life.

 

  • Avoid icky side effects. Who wants to take a medication for the cold or flu, just to suffer from equally debilitating side effects? Natural remedies can help you avoid the effects.

NATURAL METHODS TO BOOST IMMUNITY

The immune system is complex, with many moving parts, so there is no single way to boost immunity. But we do each have a natural toolkit that can help us biohack our immune system, defending us from illness and helping us beer weather any viruses we do catch.

Eat these powerful immunity-boosting foods. Your immune system is incredibly sensitive to the micronutrients you put in your body. In other words, you can get your macronutrients— fat, protein, and carbs—just right, but sll be doing your health a disservice by not taking in enough micronutrients. In particular, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, D3 and E are all necessary micronutrients for boosting the immune system.

IMMUNE BOOSTING
MICRONUTRIENTS

Zinc

Selenium

Iron

Copper

Folic Acid

Vitamin A

Vitamin B6

Vitamin C

Vitamin D3

Vitamin E

Try these immunity-boosting foods:

 

  • Dark green vegetables: like kale, broccoli, and spinach contain high levels of vitamin C and anoxidants.

 

  • Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, grapefruits, clemennes, and limes—are pumped through with vitamin C.

 

  • Tea—green, white, or black—has incredible anoxidant levels.

 

  • Garlic, ginger, and turmeric all possess an-inflammatory benefits.

 

  • Papaya and kiwi are high in vitamin C.

 

  • Yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut soothe your gut with probiocs.

 

  • Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are packed with healthy fats and vitamin E.

 

  • Oily fish, like salmon or tuna, contain lots of omega-3 fay acids.

 

  • Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in beta carotene.

 

Use supplements & probiotics wisely. The best way to stock up on micronutrients is by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods. But sometimes, supplements help you get all the way to healthy nutrient levels. Evaluate your eating habits, and take stock of which areas might need the most supplementation.

 

  • Echinacea. This herb is not only helpful for treang illness, but also improves the immune system’s response to invaders and enhances the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

 

  • Vitamins A, B6, C, D3, and E. Yep, it helps to eat the alphabet! Deficiencies of each of these vitamins have been shown to weaken the immune response.

 

  • Probiotics. The immune system is inextricably intertwined with the gut. Boosting healthy bacteria in the gut has a more powerful immune effect than almost any other supplement.

 

  • Zinc. Like vitamin C, zinc can help fight infections and reduce the severity of those infections that do take hold.

ESSENTIAL OILS TO ADD TO
YOUR ROUTINE

Cinnamon

Clove

Lemon

Tea Tree

Rosemary

Incorporate essenal oils into your roune. Several essenal oils have powerful anfungal, anviral, anbioc effects. Smulate your immune system with cinnamon, clove, lemon, tea tree, and rosemary oils. Diffuse throughout your house, add to cleaning products, or mix with a carrier oil and apply directly to your skin on a regular basis.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP
The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, and there are no shortcuts to being well-rested. Getting enough sleep has powerful effects on the immune system, making it less likely you’ll get sick and decreasing the duration of the illness if you do fall ill. Sleep deprivation decreases production of infection-fighting cytokines and antibodies. In short, your body needs sleep to fend off illnesses. To learn more about setting up a healthy sleep routine of your own, check out our comprehensive Sleep Guide.

STAY ACTIVE
Exercising can prevent the growth of bacteria and slows down the release of stress hormones, in turn reducing the likelihood of illness.


WASH YOUR HANDS, AND FOLLOW RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE
Duh. Washing your hands is important. But most of us aren’t doing it right—or doing it at all. Hand-washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of pathogens. Wash your hands every me you sneeze, blow your nose, cough, or touch used tissues. Also wash your hands before eating or touching your nose or mouth. Use warm water and soap, and wash your hands for 20 seconds. In a pinch, use antibacterial gel or hand wipes. Cover your nose and mouth in the crook of your elbow when sneezing or coughing, and don’t share food, beverages, lipstick, or anything else that might spread respiratory germs.

KEEP COMMON AREAS CLEAN
Wipe counters down with a natural cleaner after cutting meat, and clean and disinfect commonly touched areas such as doorknobs and counter tops on a regular basis. Keep a supply of disposable wipes on-hand to wipe off phones, keyboards, and other frequently used items. Being “too clean” doesn’t make us sicker—routine cleaning can help get rid of infectious pathogens and decrease our likelihood of getting sick in the first place.

CUT DOWN ON STRESS
When you’re stressed, your immune system lets down its guard, making you more susceptible to infection. Unhealthy coping strategies, such as smoking and drinking, can also do damage to your immunity. Although it’s difficult to completely remove stress from your life, work to identify the most frequent stressors you encounter and evaluate whether you can eliminate or lessen their impact. You can also try stress-reducing practices such as yoga and meditation


HOME REMEDIES FOR COLD AND FLU WHEN SICKNESS STRIKES

If only immunity were foolproof. Viruses are tenacious, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, they take hold. Luckily, there are plenty of natural healing remedies you can call on to help you feel better, quicker—not only reducing the length of your cold, but reducing the severity of symptoms, too.

 

EAT NOURISHING FOODS
Follow some baseline rules when you’re sick: Choose simple, easy-to-digest foods that are full of nutrients and low in sugar, and limit caffeine and alcohol. Here are some suggestions for nutrient-dense, healing meals and snacks to give your body the energy it needs to fight off illness.

 

  • Chicken-vegetable soup. There’s no better sick food than this classic, which contains enough healing nutrients to make a noticeable difference in reducing upper respiratory symptoms, according to one story.

 

  • Stir-fry with broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, chili pepper and garlic. Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, while mushrooms are packed with vitamin D. Dark green veggies like broccoli are full of healing antioxidants, while chili pepper brings enough heat to loosen congestion. And garlic, packed with immune-boosting compounds, has long been lauded for its healing properties.

 

  • Yogurt with berries and citrus. Probiotics keep your immune system stocked up, while berries pack an antioxidant punch and citrus offers a vitamin C boost.

 

  • Ginger tea with lemon & honey. Ginger is great for all kinds of ailments. This spicy root helps clear congestion and keep you warm, while lemon and honey ease a sore throat. Level up with manuka honey for an anti-inflammatory, antiviral bonus.

 

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, banana & walnuts. Oatmeal and bananas are bland but soothing—and the yellow fruit also offers electrolyte-balancing, immune-boosting benefits, while oats contain beta glucan, zinc, and selenium, all of which help decrease inflammation and bolster the immune system. Cinnamon has powerful antiviral effects, while walnuts are one of the top anti-inflammatory, stress-reducing foods.

 

  • Bone broth or miso. Miso, made from fermented soybeans, boosts the immune system with vitamins B and E and plenty of antioxidants. It also soothes the gut with built-in probiotics. And bone broth is packed with amino acids that ease inflammation and boost immunity. Drinking either broth warm can ease congestion and bump up hydration.

 

  • Eggs with spinach. Cooked spinach is easy to digest and chock-full of antioxidants, while eggs are a nutrient-dense superfood (and comfort food!) packed with protein and B vitamins.

 

TRY COLD FIGHTING SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements won’t cure your illness immediately—but some have been shown to reduce the length and symptoms of the common cold.

 

  • Vitamin C. While this powerful vitamin hasn’t been shown to be particularly helpful in preventing colds, those who take it regularly reduce the duration of their cold by a day or more.

 

  • Echinacea. Some studies show that echinacea purpura can reduce the length and severity of colds by anywhere from 10% to 30%. You can purchase echinacea in tea, tablet, or lozenge form.

 

  • Zinc. Zinc is a vital mineral for your immune system, and taking regular doses of zinc while you’re sick can help reduce the duration of your cold by up to a day.

 

  • Elderberry. A specific formulation of elderberry extract, sambucol, appears to reduce the duration of the flu by more than half while also providing symptom relief. This fruit seems to block viruses from spreading.

 

 

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Forget your normal workout routine for a minute. Don’t keep going with work and social commitments. Chill out and let your body heal.

  • Rest. Get as much sleep as you can—naps are A-OK. Your body needs all the rest it can get. And don’t attempt to stick to your normal exercise routine, either.

 

  • Wear layers. Take it easy and bundle up—instead of using energy to work out and stay warm, your body can devote its energy to fighting the virus.

 

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, tea, and warm beverages to stave off dehydration. A good rule of thumb is six to eight cups per day, increasing that number if you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

 

SOOTHE A SORE THROAT WITH THESE NATURAL REMEDIES
What can you do for a sore throat? A lot, it turns out. Try these natural options for instant relief.

 

  • Hot tea. Warm beverages soothe an aching throat like nothing else can. Try an herbal tea such as slippery elm, marshmallow root, or licorice root, and add a drizzle of honey for extra-soothing relief.

 

  • Warm salt water gargle. Salt acts like a magnet for the water in your throat, pulling the virus out with it and creating a barrier that prevents more pathogens from settling in. Any type of salt works fine.

 

  • Ice chips. Sucking on chipped ice can cool the throat, reducing pain and inflammation.

 

EASE CONGESTION, WITHOUT THE CHEMICALS
You don’t have to resort to decongestants to ease respiratory symptoms. Each of these natural methods can help you breathe easier in a jiffy.

 

  • Salt water rinse. Just like gargling with salt water helps pull the virus from your body, rinsing your nose with salt water can help remove the virus and reduce congestion. You can also use a Neti pot to flush out mucus and relieve sinus symptoms.

 

  • Use an extra pillow. Elevate your head by a few inches at night so you can breathe easier and wake up less congested.

 

  • Humidifier or steam with essential oils. Turn on the humidifier or run a warm shower, then diffuse drops of congestion-clearing eucalyptus, menthol, or peppermint.

COMMON QUESTIONS ON COLD AND FLU, ANSWERED

WHEN SHOULD I STAY HOME FROM WORK OR SCHOOL?
Although the common cold is contagious, unless you work in close physical contact with others, usually rigorous hand-washing is enough to stop the spread of pathogens. But if you work with vulnerable populations, such as infants and the elderly, you should stay away. Stay home from work if you have a fever, an uncontrollable cough, or severe muscle aches. You should also call out sick if you are taking a medication that makes you feel drowsy or if you simply feel too tired or achy to function properly at work. Remember, rest is the best medicine—taking some time off work might actually help you arrive at your desk, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sooner.

 

HOW LONG DOES THE COMMON COLD LAST?
Colds usually last between 7 and 10 days, although they can run anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on the strength of your immune system and the particular strain of virus.

 

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
If symptoms persist or get worse after 10 days, you should see a doctor. In addition, infants, cancer and HIV patients, and adults over 65 are particularly vulnerable to the flu and should visit a doctor if they experience flu-like symptoms.


WHEN DOES THE COLD & FLU STOP BEING CONTAGIOUS?
As long as you still have active symptoms—a cough, congestion, runny nose, or out-of-the-norm fatigue—you’ve still got the virus, and you’re still contagious. Typically, colds are most contagious the day before symptoms start and the first five days that you’re ill. As your symptoms decrease, the risk of contagion goes down. As for the flu, you will most likely be contagious for about a week, although symptoms might stop before then.

FIND YOUR CHI.
BE HEALTHY.
LIVE HAPPY.