Sniff, sniff. Sneeze, sneeze. Cough, cough. The changing of seasons from summer to fall and fall to winter are perfect opportunities for allergies, colds, and flu to sneak up on you. The best defense is to keep your immune system rocking throughout the year by eating healthfully, exercising, sleeping, hydrating, and limiting and eliminating toxins. Let’s be real, none of us are perfect. Even the healthiest among us can get knocked down with a cold for a few days.
Here are my best tips for staying healthy during this season.
- Rehydrate your nasal passages. As the air gets colder and you turn the heat on in your home and office it is easy for your nasal passages to get dry. Your nose is naturally moist as a barrier against germs. So when it gets dry, you’re more susceptible to catching a bug. Use a Q-tip dipped in extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil and rim the inside of your nostrils, then breathe in. This provides an extra barrier against germs and allergens.
- Boost your immune system with nutrients from whole foods. Eat a diet high in vegetables, especially leafy, green ones. Include seasonal vegetables, such as squashes, and root vegetables.
- Stay cozy. When temperatures drop and the wind kicks up, keep your neck covered. This will help hold your body heat in and keep the chill at bay.
- Wash your hands! Germs are on everything and every person you touch. The average person touches their face 18 times in an hour. That gives germs pretty easy access to your lungs when you touch your nose or mouth, or near them. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day both to stay healthy and to keep from spreading germs.
- Keep your nasal passages and sinuses free of allergens and germs. Use the Nasopure Nasal Wash System to clear out your nose and sinuses. This is especially helpful to allergy sufferers. You can use the system if you have a cold as well, but only if you can breathe through your nose. I recommend the Nasopure product, but you can also use the old fashioned netti pot, but it can take some getting used to.
If you feel like you’re on the verge of coming down with a cold or your allergies are flaring up, try these tips.
- Go dairy-free for a few days. Dairy is very mucus-forming for everyone, even if you’re not sensitive to it. If you’re fighting an illness your histamines are already activated. Consuming dairy will only intensify your body’s natural reaction creating more mucus.
- Streamline your diet. Eat a very simple diet of steamed vegetables, vegetable broths and soups, and vegetable juices for a few days. You’ll increase your nutrient intake to help your body fight off the germs.
- Ramp up the Vitamin C. Sure there are mixed messages out there about whether or not C makes a difference. I believe it does, and can only help your body heal. I recommend picking up a bottle of Elderberry concentrate at your local health food store. Take 1 tablespoon 3x a day. If you’re unable to find Elderberry or are traveling and can’t carry the bottle with you, toss a few packets of Emergen-C into your suitcase. Emergen-C is readily available at many stores and comes in a variety of flavors. One packet added to a bottle of water will give your immune system great support, and it will help you get your daily water intake. Bonus!
Whether you’re trying to stay healthy this season, or get over an illness more quickly, always stay hydrated. Your body needs water to work properly all the way to the cellular level. It also needs water to flush out any toxins as it works to keep you healthy.
Enjoy the seasons and stay healthy!
Originally posted November 23, 2016