So, what exactly is a cold? A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper respiratory tract caused by a virus. The virus enters the body via the nose, mouth and eyes where it causes inflammation and mucous production.
To avoid contact with the common cold virus, wash your hands regularly and try not to touch your nose and eyes too often.
If your body is healthy and your immune system is firing on all cylinders then you could be surrounded by people with colds, your toddler could sneeze in your face or you could shake hands with a germ-infested person and you would not get ill.
Five foods to boost your immune system
- Live Yogurt contains ‘friendly’ bacteria known to be beneficial for immune function. Avoid the high sugar, fruit flavoured versions and choose a good organic natural yogurt.
- Garlic has been found to possess anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Simply add to your cooking as much as possible.
- Cabbage contains glutamine an immune strengthening nutrient. There are many types of cabbage and lots of ways to cook it. Personally, I like Savoy cabbage shredded and stir fried in olive oil and garlic.
- Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and is packed with natural chemical compounds called flavonoids to boost the immune system. Add half a fresh grapefruit to your breakfast.
- Pumpkin Seeds are high in zinc, an important nutrient for the immune system. You only need to consume a very small handful a day to get a good intake of this vital mineral.
Sufficient exercise and sleep are also vital for the proper functioning of your immune system
Five ways to lower your immune system
If we are not careful, we can easily reduce the effectiveness of our body’s own immune system, opening us up to colds and infections. Here’s how:
- Dehydration fundamentally affects cell function causing a lowering of energy and immune function. Make sure you drink plenty of water and do not allow yourself to get thirsty.
- Alcohol suppresses the function of your white blood cells. Avoid binge drinking and allow two days a week to be alcohol free.
- Sugar consumption in excess also affects the white blood cells, rendering them up to 40% less effective.
- Smoking, enough said!
- Stress depletes the body of all nutrients associated with the immune system. Finding ways to ‘chill out’ is extremely important.
Top tip – Avoiding dairy foods when you have a cold can help reduce the amount of mucous you produce! Stock up on smoothies, juices and soups as these are easy for your digestive system to process leaving energy free for your immune system.
Did you know? When your body is busy fighting a cold virus, it uses up a great deal of energy. Whilst fighting a cold it is common to lose your appetite but once you’ve turned a corner you will often find yourself craving stodgy, carbohydrate and sugar rich foods. This is to replenish this energy and is completely normal.
Recommended supplement – Sambucol is a Black Elderberry Extract proven to prevent and reduce symptoms of the flu and cold virus. It is suitable for both adults and children.
Best home remedy – Honey, ginger and lemon in hot water
Chicken soup really is good for your soul! (unless you’re a vegetarian of course!!). Click HERE for a simple recipe for when you’re poorly.
Why not download my FREE super quick recipe eBook HERE.