Surviving the winter months: tips & remedies for colds & flus (and preventing them!)
This is one of those posts I have been wanting to write for some time. I have asked my lovely friend and nutritionist Emma Sgourakis, the Nutrition Coach, to provide her comments on my suggestions. I really hope these will help you over the coming months.
Emma is a nutritionist with a difference – she isn’t going to suggest you eat your leafy salads, to drink 8 glasses of water or even to eat that raw apple! Instead Emma focuses on eating the right foods to ensure an optimally functioning metabolism and thyroid.
:: Vitamin d3 drops – taken orally in milk or applied topically on the skin. Vitamin d3 drops are a very bioavailable form of vitamin d – meaning it is in a form that your body is easily able to make use of. I like to use 2-3 drops of 2000IU during the winter months when my sun exposure is not as great as during the summer time.
:: Light therapy – Adequate sunlight is essential for optimal health. Have you ever wondered why in the darker months of winter, people suffer from more sickness. Darkness in itself is a stress on the body as it impairs cell energy production and stress hormones are highest at night. In the darker months many people benefit from light therapy, such as exposure to an incandescent heat bulb for about 15-20 minutes a day (a minimum of 250W).
:: Bi-carb – Another new one right? Bi carb can be useful in stopping a cold early on due its ability to increase carbonate dioxide in your cells. Try adding half a teaspoon of bicarb to your morning orange juice or a glass of water.
Emma says: Taking half a teaspoon of bi-carb soda (sodium bicarbonate) every couple of hours in the first day or two when cold/flu symptoms appear can help stop the progression of illness. Dr Cheney published his findings on bi-carb’s actions on treating colds back in 1924. From my own experience, it does seem to help!
:: Zinc – Low zinc levels contribute towards imbalanced blood sugar and frequent infections. The best way to get adequate zinc in your diet is oysters. So how much should you have? It really depends on you and how your body is functioning, however consuming oysters once a week is a great start.
Emma says: Zinc is definitely an important mineral for strengthening immunity, and you can get more than enough through eating the right foods; far better than supplemental zinc. If you regularly eat oysters or other shellfish, liver, lamb etc, and avoid phytates in whole grains that block its absorption, you can bring your zinc levels up quickly.
:: Epsom Salt Baths – Do you need convincing? I didn’t think so.
:: Raw honey – Raw untreated honey has wonderful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is full of natural enzymes and nutrients that can be powerful to the body and immune system. Once honey has been pasteurised or heat treated, it loses many of its beneficial properties, so be sure to try to source a local raw honey or a raw organic honey. Take it by the spoonful to coat a sore throat, use it in my tonic (recipe below) and just enjoy a spoon with a glass of milk throughout the day or before bed. If you are worried about the fructose – read about why simple carbohydrates (which is what honey is) are essential to good health here.
:: Raw Carrot Salad – It sounds so simple and yet it has such a powerful affect. Why? The fibers in raw carrots do not feed bacteria and instead assist in detoxifying endotoxins from the intestines, lowering inflammation and assisting in the elimination of excess estrogen. I grate one carrot in the morning, mix it up with sea salt, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil and pop in a stainless steel tin, for my mid morning snack (best eaten without other food). To understand in full what these carrots fibers are going to do for you, read Emma’s article here.
:: Sleep – In our fast paced life, everyone is looking for the quick fix solution, and yet our bodies immensely benefit from slowing down. Ensuring adequate sleep is essential where ever possible. Set your bedtime and put an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes before this. In your last 30 minutes of the day, get away from all screens and relax – sit and read, write a to do list for the next day, sew or meditate – enjoy a warm honey & milk or a little ice cream.
finely grated fresh ginger
finely grated fresh turmeric (if you can get some) a dash of raw apple cider vinegar,
half a lemon squeezed (no pulp)
disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all ideas expressed here are my own, unless mentioned otherwise. This does not constitute medical advice.