The common cold is something we’ve all experienced at some point, and undoubtedly, we will cross paths with again. Illness seems like an inevitable part of life -- especially if you have little ones in the house or work in a large office. Germs are everywhere, and without the ability to see them lingering, we can’t always avoid them. To keep your home healthy, the best defense is always to wash your hands thoroughly with mild soap and warm water as soon as you walk through the door.
Even though we can’t fully avoid germs, there are many simple, natural things we can do to prevent those germs from winning the fight against our immune system – and even shorten the lifespan of the cold. You don’t even have to leave the kitchen to find many helpful immune boosters. My favorite foods that can help combat an illness and boost the immune system are:
Garlic — if you can stomach raw garlic, this is the best option. Adding it into tea is another option, if you enjoy the taste. If you’re not a big fan of garlic and you are reading this in horror at the thought of eating raw garlic… have no fear. Just cook with it as much as possible when you’re feeling a cold coming on, or you are currently battling one. Toss in several cloves during each meal and enjoy the benefits.
Probiotics — we’re programmed to hear the word ‘bacteria’ and think it’s a bad thing, but good bacteria exists and your body needs it. Probiotics provide your body with the good bacteria it needs to function optimally. You can take probiotics as a liquid supplement, capsule, or you can enjoy the probiotic properties of yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha.
Cloves — it doesn’t have to be the holiday season for you to use cloves. Cloves have incredible properties that help the body fight against germs, alleviate pain and even helps with loosening the phlegm that you may be battling with a cold.
Cayenne — another simple option that you can sprinkle on any meal. Adding that pop of spice can help decrease the mucus buildup and ease your sore throat and congestion. Adding fresh lemon and cayenne into a mug of boiling water as a homemade tea packs a punch against that cold. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which only helps boost the immune system response.
There are many more natural ways to boost your immune system, but starting with these suggestions will help you have natural options in battling your next cold. Make a note of these foods and remember them the next time you feel a cold coming on.
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.