Tis the season! We’re staying indoors, not getting enough light and our immune system is taking a hit as a result. It’s cold, dark, damp and damp. What’s worse, all that commuting and working in close proximity to other people creates the perfect breeding ground for germs and viruses to spread. What’s more is we’re also upping the game on social events and that means less sleep and more processed food and alcohol. It’s no wonder our immunity takes a hit. So what can we do?
Home remedies for the common cold
The common cold is a viral infection that occurs in your upper respiratory tract. There are different types of viruses but truth is, we’ve been catching colds for thousands of years which also means we’ve been treating it for thousands of years. And while some remedies are total rubbish, others can provide some decent support. This article looks at the home remedies. None of the below suggestions is dangerous and in fact, they’re worth having in your diet. Even if they don’t cure your cold, you won’t be any worse off for having eaten a bunch of garlic or turmeric.
How to catch a Cold
How do we catch it to begin with? People with poor immunity tend to be prone to catching colds. Other common reasons include micronutrient insufficiency, poor gut health, stress, lack of sleep and travel.
Generally speaking, colds come on slowly and recovery takes about 1-2 weeks. Some signs and symptoms of a cold include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Slight temperature
Generally speaking, immunity consists of all of the body’s defence systems that resist infections and toxins. The immune system is like a military defence system, putting a front line of troops to prevent any foreign invaders coming through. What’s interesting is that 80% of your immune system actually resides in the gut. This makes sense given that the food we take in is external to the body until it reaches the intestinal walls and certain components cross the brush border into the bloodstream and later the cells. While this process supports the body, it also creates the risk that some ‘bad guys’ can cross over too and this is why our immune system works to keep everything in control.
Apart from just the gut, the immune system comprises a number of components: the lymphatic system, respiratory system, skin and gut microbiome for example. But there’s a lot more.
Curing a cold takes a number of different facets. There are things you can eat and things you should avoid. Rest is incredibly important to support repair and recovery. And finally you can support recovery with a variety of the following:
- Zinc is a micronutrient that is antiviral and can help support the immune system. It’s found in meat, cheese and especially seafood.
- Vitamin C
- Elderberry has been shown to have a potent immuno-stimulant effect. You can get the immune boosting benefits of elderberry in the form of teas, tinctures, and elderberry supplements
- Oregano Oil
- Vitamin D
- Fermented food
- Bone Broth
- Potent “superfoods” such as coconut products, garlic, medicinal mushrooms, and chia seeds to provide antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal compounds that support the immune system.
- Spicy Foods
Foods to avoid
- Sugar: Not only does sugar wreak havoc on our energy balance, but it can also weaken your immune response. High sugar diets can also promote inflammation.
- Processed foods: Empty calorie foods generally add zero nutritional value but all the toxins. By toxins, we’re referring to the preservatives, additives, foreign ingredients and sugars.
Give this immune booster smoothie a try.