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How to Shorten A Sickness If It Happens

How to Shorten A Sickness If It Happens

Natalie Butler, RD, LD

Cold and flu season is upon us and these illnesses are easily spread from person to person in the workplace, in schools, the home and shopping areas. If you do happen to catch a cold or the flu, follow these tips below to help shorten the duration of your illness, so you can get back to enjoying the holiday season, family and friends!

Vitamin C. You can shorten the time you are sick by as much as 25% with high levels of vitamin C daily. Vitamin C rich foods are kiwi, guava, papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens. It’s best to eat these foods in their fresh, raw form as supplements don’t seem to provide the same benefit and can lead to kidney stones if your intake is too high .

Neti pot. Nasal irrigation allows your sinus cavity and nasal passages to be bathed with warm saline water, which helps to thin and flush out mucus, kills viruses before they can multiply and reduces allergies and irritants. You can do this up to 4 times per week.

Helpful fats. Trans fats, from hydrogenated oils, can weaken your body’s response when foreign invaders attack. Instead, focus on anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats, found in salmon, cod, pollock, haddock, tuna, ground flaxseed, omega 3 eggs, walnuts and canola oil, which support your immune function.

Hydrate. Some research shows that 20 ounces of black tea a day triples your interferon production (immune cells that attack viral invaders). Hot green and ginger and lemon tea, among other varieties, water, broth, and juice help soothe the throat and keep you hydrated which is crucial during illness because colds thrive in dry conditions.

Sleep. Sleep deprivation reduces your protection from vaccines, lowers “killer” immune cell activity, and increases inflammatory cells called cytokines, making you more prone to illness and infection. Therefore, rest often and get quality sleep to help your body fight illness.

Eat probiotic-rich foods daily. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your colon and are vital for optimal immune function. Plan to stock up on fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and miso soup. It’s recommended you take a probiotic supplement if you are already sick and/or on antibiotics.

Add chicken soup. Your grandmother was right! Studies show that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, hydrates the body, helps clear mucus and reduces congestion in the lungs, thus reducing the length of a cold! And it seems to work better than other hot liquids.

Sanitize surfaces. Alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds can be used to effectively reduce the spread of viruses via hand-held items like phones, remote controls, and computer keyboards. This is especially important when someone in your household has been sick and to avoid re-infecting yourself.

Zinc lozenges or syrup. Though not guaranteed, so far there is stronger evidence in favor of shortened cold symptoms when you take zinc within 24 hours of feeling sick compared to other natural remedies. Do not take for more than 5 days.

Gargle. Dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle for a few minutes. This can effectively relieve a sore throat temporarily.

Humidify. A hot steamy bath or shower or using a humidifier in your room can moisten the air and make it more difficult for viruses to grow and spread and can help you feel better faster.

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Viance Nutrition

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