The cold season has been particularly nasty this year. Not only does there seem to be a surplus of cold bugs out there, each one has been particularly aggressive. You’ll be pleased to know that there are some things you can do to ensure you stay fit and healthy, even as everyone around you uses up their sick days. You might be surprised to learn that some of the things you currently do to boost your immune system are actually having the opposite effect.
One of the mistakes people make when they have a cold is pumping themselves full of dairy products. While it’s true that pudding, milk, and ice cream feel good on a sore throat and can help settle a queasy stomach, they’re also items that tend to generate excessive mucus. If dairy products are required while you’re sick, stick to cultured products and drink fat free milk.
Despite what your grandmother might have told you about chicken soup and colds, eating it isn’t your best option. Chicken noodle soup and other soups that have a clear broth base are another food group that encourages your body to produce more mucus, which is the last thing you want when you’re fighting a cold. You should also eliminate any greasy or sweet foods from your diet while you’re feeling under the weather.
What You Should Eat While You Have a Cold
Your best food choices right now are light foods paired with lots of water or tea. People who drink plenty of well diluted juices and herbal teas and eat a steady diet of darker broth soups tend to get healthy faster than those who don’t. You should also avoid any food that has been iced such as smoothies. The one exception to iced foods is popsicles which can be used if you’re struggling to keep other fluids down
Even though the idea of a nice bland meal might sound good right now, you should actually spice up your lunch soup. There’s something about spicy foods that helps the body rid itself of mucus, which in turn helps you feel better. Even more importantly, spicy foods tend to be good sources for antioxidants and several different kinds of vitamins that the body needs to have in order for it to heal properly.
Move Air Through Your Home
Yes, it’s perfectly understandable for you to want to seal up your house as tightly as possible both to keep cold bugs out and to reduce your heating bill, but an airtight house isn’t as sanitary as you think. The lack of airflow means that toxins and germs are just hanging in the air, waiting for an opportunity to attack you. Whenever possible, crack a window for a few minutes and let some fresh air flow through your home.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Don’t spend the entire winter behind closed doors. Go outside and enjoy the weather. Not only will the clear, cool air help clear your sinuses, you’ll also get some much needed Vitamin D from the sun. There are all sorts of fun activities for you to try out. Not only will the fresh air help recover from your cold, but it will also help keep the winter depression at bay.
Hand Sanitizer isn’t Enough
Hand sanitizer is great, but it was never intended to replace good old fashioned soap and water. You need to wash your hands and each time you wash them, you should take at least 20 seconds to ensure they’re really clean. If people all around you are getting sick, you need to wash your hands even more frequently.
Take the Day Off
Sure, your boss might be upset and make some comments about how it’s just a cold, but you really do need to call in sick. Giving yourself a few days to relax and rest provides your body with the time it needs to heal. Besides, if you don’t go to work, you don’t run the risk of your co-workers catching the same cold. The best time to stay home from work is when you first start to feel under the weather. Don’t wait until it has turned into a full-fledged cold.
Toss the Blankets Aside
Having a fever doesn’t mean you should curl up under a thick layer of blankets and treat yourself to a marathon Gilmore Girl episodes. Stick to lightweight pajamas and sheet. The lighter coverings allows your body to fight off the infection without your body temperature having to climb.
Enjoy a healthy and happy winter!