Tips To Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season
It’s already November, which means leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and noses are running. That’s right. We’re knee deep into cold and flu season.
SteadyMD doctor Tania Elliott offers her best advice for staying healthy as we inch closer towards winter.
How To Armor Up Your Health this Cold & Flu Season:
- Eat Chicken Soup: There’s clinical evidence around the chicken noodle soup phenomenon. A key study proved that chicken soup mobilizes key components of the immune system to help you fight infection. And here, salt’s OK! The salt addition helps you retain water, which works to prevent dehydration during sickness.
- Don’t Diss the Dairy: The Dairy Myth claims that dairy makes mucus worse and should be avoided. However, I recommend dairy to combat cold or flu, because it is relatively high in calories which you need to fight infection. It also has high levels of Vitamin D, which has been linked to a number of health benefits.
- Be Careful with Tea: I love hot tea with honey and lemon as a remedy, but make sure you are not drinking caffeinated tea! When people get sick and take multi-symptom remedies, they usually contain decongestants. The combination of caffeine and decongestants can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, and poor sleep.
- Snack on Almond Butter & Banana: This snack is high in magnesium, which promotes sleep. Sleep is one of the best things you can do to get over a cold or flu. Or, if you are calorie conscious, you can make a Banana Tea: Steep a banana peel in hot water for 8 minutes, add some cinnamon and there you have it!
- Boil Some Ginger: Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that boosts the immune system when you eat it AND also can create a natural humidifier when added to a pot of boiling water. The fresh ginger will work to clear your sinuses and nasal passages, while decreasing inflammation in the lungs. Therefore, for people with asthma, this is one of my go-to recommendations. I will sometimes add oil of oregano to this mix for people that get recurrent infections, as it helps prevent infection.
- Bring on the Honey: Honey is a natural cough suppressant, which soothes the lungs and vocal cords. I also like lozenges with honey and glycerin for this reason.
- Add Fresh Garlic to Meals: Fresh garlic has both anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. You can boil a garlic clove or two in with soup or add to sautéed or steamed vegetables. It will also give your dish some extra flavor!
What’s another effective way to avoid illness? Practice preventative care while you’re healthy! SteadyMD doctors believe that primary care shouldn’t be sick care, but instead be preventative health care. If you’re curious about preventative healthcare, take our 90-second quiz to see which of our doctors would be the best match for you and why!
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