It’s that time of year again!
The time of sniffles, coughs, and fevers. That’s right. Every year around this time it’s likely that we’ll catch the common cold. Especially when the leaves change color and the air becomes cooler. It may seem inevitable, but don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to reduce your symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Oil of oregano is jammed packed with infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. When you start to feel under the weather, place a few drops directly under the tongue and hold it there for as long as you can. It may burn, but trust me, it’s worth it. Alternatively, if you can’t handle the taste, place a few drops in a glass of water and take it that way. You can also create a steam bath for yourself using a bowl of hot water, a few drops of oil of oregano and a towel to drape over your head. Inhaling the steam will help expel and break up the mucus.
When you feel a cold coming on, incorporate as much garlic as you can into your meals. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Garlic contains a sulfuric compound called alliin. When you chop or crush garlic it stimulates the enzymatic process that converts alliin into allicin. This is what gives garlic its strong smell and it’s amazing immune boosting properties. Always use fresh garlic and once you’ve chopped it, let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes to release its therapeutic benefits.
Our bodies are host to a lot of bacteria. In fact, we are 10x more bacteria than cells. Much of the bacteria in our bodies reside in our gut, along with 80% of our immune system. In order to keep our immune system strong, we need to keep our intestinal system healthy by supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. For those of you who don’t know, probiotics are live microorganisms classified as good bacteria that help fight off all the bad bacteria that contribute to illness and disease.
Be sure to avoid sugar, gluten, processed foods, and alcohol – all which depress immune function. Stick to nourishing whole foods and be sure to include plenty of veggies. Make sure to take in enough fluids including green veggie juices with ginger, herbal teas, warm water with lemon, as well as soups and broths. Two key nutrients that help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, as well as boost the immune system are Vitamin C and Zinc – which can also be supplemented.
Getting plenty of rest and sleep is the fastest way to recuperate. The truth is, without proper sleep the body simply doesn’t have time to recover and this leaves the immune system weak. Don’t force yourself to go for a run or do your regular workout routine if you’re not feeling well, as this will only stress the body further. Instead, if you’re feeling up for it, stick to low-intensity exercise like yoga, light weight training, or better yet, bundle up and take a brisk walk outside in the fresh air.
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Michelle Garland, the founder of Plentyfullme Nutrition and Lifestyle Consulting, is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Raw Food Chef. Michelle has dedicated her practice to creating optimal lifestyles through a whole food, plant-based approach that educates and empowers her clients to make lasting change. She began to develop her own approach to health by exploring plant-based cooking and alternative medicine. What started as a passion has transformed into an ever-evolving life journey and professional career in Vancouver, BC.
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