Baby, it’s cold outside! This time of year, focus naturally shifts to protecting the body from increased amounts of circulating cold and flu viruses. Everyone has a trick and many of these are proven effective!
But what’s equally important is supporting your body through and beyond illness so that your immune defenses aren’t lowered long-term and your body recovers from the damage inflicted by a week-long cold.
Lowered immunity post-cold or flu creates the perfect opportunity for bacteria and viruses looking for a way in – you want your immune defenses back up to healthy (or beyond healthy!) levels so you don’t get stuck in the uncomfortable cycle of winter cold after winter cold.
- Drink a LOT of water or herbal tea and sweat it out at the gym or in a sauna as often as possible to help your body clear out any remaining debris left by bacteria or viruses.
- Eat often and eat well! Take the burden off your body and provide it with nourishing meals that are light but warming – soups are key here, but make them hearty! See my Anti-cold Soup for a very simple recipe that can work as a side or a main.
- Don’t stop immune-boosting supplements until 2 weeks after you’ve beaten your cold! Astragalus, mushroom blends, or even just a standard combo of increased vitamins C and D and zinc can be taken for a couple extra weeks to strengthen your defenses. Platinum makes an excellent, well-absorbed vitamin D3 – I usually keep a bottle in my purse to dole out to friends as needed!
- Don’t ignore your gut! Much of our immunity resides on our intestinal tract and is directly related to the probiotic bacteria that reside there. Make sure your community is healthy by adding kefir or fermented foods to your diet – try a tempeh stir fry or raw sauerkraut or kimchi as a side with your next meal!
Most important of all? Let your body heal. Take an extra day off work, if at all possible and indulge in me-time. Nourish your mind while your body heals, stay warm, and sleep whenever you feel like it!
There are very few things in life that can’t be delayed by 12 hours if your body is calling for rest and there is very little that’s more important that a healthy body!
Stay healthy and stay warm!
Julia Reiss, CNP