October: The Recipe Redux
Good Gut Health
With cold and flu season upon us, the best defense may be good gut health. Since much of our immune health begins in the gut, show us your healthy, delicious recipe to bolster gut health.
This comes very timely because I actually had a cold a couple of weeks ago and was able to kick it in less than 3 days. Most cold typically last for at least a week. Today I’m going to share my home remedies (medicine free ways) to help battle cold season. These are not technically all 100% evidence based supplements or foods but some research has shown them to be helpful remedies and they have all worked for me.
Garlic has been used for food and medicine dating back thousands of years. Garlic is used as a dietary supplement for many purposes, including high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the common cold. The evidence is conflicting if it does actually improve these conditions but I have personally been using it for the common cold for years and feel that I see a benefit. Garlic is bursting with great nutritional benefits.
The success I have seen with using raw garlic during a cold is lessening both the duration and the symptoms. Raw garlic can be pretty potent by itself so I recommend taking it on a spoonful of nut butter to help drown out the burn. The biggest side effect is heartburn so make sure you have Tums on hand as well.
This is my favorite herbal tea of all time. It has a great taste and is very soothing for sore throats. I drink it any time I am sick! The slippery elm is supposed to be soothing (I’ve actually taken it before for reflux) but honestly when you are sick probably all hot tea is soothing.
Probiotics in the form of kombucha or yogurt/kefir
I always try to make sure I’m replenishing my body with healthy bacteria to boost my immune system. Some fermented foods don’t always taste good when I’m sick so I usually stick with a yogurt drink of some sort and kombucha. Bonus points for getting ginger flavor kombucha since ginger is an antibacterial agent. (If you’re going to go to the soup route- use miso to make the broth.)
Studies have found that zinc can help shorten the duration of a cold. While you generally can’t prevent yourself from becoming sick, at least you can hopefully shorten the amount of time you will be sick. I found zinc lozenges from whole foods that also have Vitamin C so I always take those when I have a cold but I have friends that take Zicam. Also supplements tend to make me sick so I always take these with food.
Sometimes exercise cannot be tolerated when you have a cold. I think the rule is as long as it’s not in your chest you are good to go?? I personally say go with your gut. When I was sick a couple weeks ago my head hurt and nose was running so I knew most exercise was out but I took a really peaceful walk outside and it really helped to get some fresh air. If my nose isn’t running sometimes I find running helpful to help break up the phlegm in the back of your throat. If it doesn’t feel good, then don’t do it. Never push yourself when you are sick or injured. Usually a day off and getting more rest can be even more beneficial. I just personally find that getting in some movement generally helps clear the sickness fog for me.
Bonus tip: (Not nutritionally related) Always use tissues that have a soothing lotion such as Puffs.
What do you do when you are sick?? Do you take any supplements or have any home remedies??