As the seasons are changing, and many of my patients are coming in feeling under the weather, I thought it would be best to dedicate today's blog to reminding all of you my top 10 best ways to naturally fight a cold:
1. This one you all know: drink a ton of water (half your body weight in ounces), eat a clean and healthy diet (lots of fruits and veggies and lean proteins), sleep and by all means: stay away from sugar!!!
*Interesting fact: 1 teaspoon of sugar suppresses the immune system from 2-6 hours!!
2. Neti Pot, Neti Pot: at the first sign of a cold do a nasal rinse, at least once a day but twice per day is ideal. If the Neti Pot isn't for you, try this: get some eucalyptus essential oil from the local health food store, and to a pot of boiling water add 5 drops and then steam over the hot water. The eucalyptus will open your sinuses right up!
3. Get in plenty of vitamin d and vitamin c: these are both best when they come from food sources, however supplementing during cold season isn't a bad idea either. Try for 5,000 ius of vitamin D daily (3 cod liver pills with give you around 3500iu's). And for the vitamin C,take about 3,000-5,000 mg/day. Get your vitamin c from fruit like blueberries and oranges.
4. Eat garlic. Garlic is a potent cold and flu fighter. Thanks to an oily compound called allicin garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. For the ultimate cold fighting beverage, dice up a clove or two and add it to a mug of hot water along with freshly squeezed lemon, a few shavings of fresh ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne.
5. Drink hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. If your body can't handle the garlic, or you have a hot date on your agenda, skip the garlic in the above recipe and drink 3-5 mugs per day of hot water w the juice from half of a lemon squeezed into it. Add some ginger and clove to it for extra cold fighting bang.
6. Take Cordyceps. This is one of my favorite all time immune enhancing fungi. I recommend it in capsule or tincture form. My favorite brands are new chapter or herb pharm.
7. Take Probiotics. These natural good for you bacterial strains are one of the best immune enhancers put there. A great way to get probiotics in is thru eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and greek yogurt. In addition I rec that you take one ir two capsules per day of probiotics made by megafoods, new chapter or culturelle.
8. Eat homemade chicken soup. Yum. For the ultimate in immune enhancing, make a soup from an entire chicken- bones and all. Check out this recipe.
9. Exercise. This is to keep your immune system up- if you are sick, rest up and listen to your body. But for optimal health you should be exercising 3-5 days per week for 30-45 minutes.
10. CTFO. Yes, you heard me: chill the bleep out. Meditate for 5-15 minutes daily. Take some much needed mental downtime as 60-90% of all doctors visits is for a stress related disorder!