The past few days have been cold and grey here in Pittsburgh—not exactly spring-like weather! Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit under the weather, too. A bug has been going around in my circle of friends and at the office, and I think I picked it up… Yuck!
When I was younger, I never thought twice about taking medicine to fight off a cold, and I still use it if I get really sick. The thing is… I don’t get really sick anymore! I honestly don’t remember the last time I was truly ill, and I credit that to my diet and exercise routine.
After stopping in the office in the morning, I worked from home yesterday because I wasn’t feeling well. Before I left, one of my colleagues suggested I “take lots of medicine” so I would feel better. Though she meant well, popping capsules of Aleve or taking shots of Dayquil was the last thing I wanted to do!
This is my kind of “farmacy”!
I’m a firm believer that food IS medicine, and if you eat well, you won’t need any of the conventional stuff! Sure, we all catch colds from time to time, but your diet will decide whether you’re back at it the next day or confined to the couch for a week. Next time you feel a case of the sniffles coming on, remember these simple ways to fight them off!
1. Drink LOTS of water. The standard recommendation for water consumption is eight glasses per day, but a lot of people don’t drink nearly that much. If you don’t feel well, increasing your water intake is one of the first things you should do! It’ll keep you hydrated and help to flush out your system.
2. Eat foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. We’ve all heard that taking vitamin C supplements helps to boost immunity, but did you know the same is true about vitamin E and zinc? Though supplements work, whole foods are always a better option. Stop a cold in its tracks by loading up on fresh produce like bell peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, kiwi, oranges, spinach and strawberries.
3. Rest! A big reason it takes people longer than necessary to get over a cold is because they don’t give themselves time to relax and recover. Once you feel the onset of symptoms, try to take it easy before you’ve got a full blown cold. This doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel every time you sneeze, but taking a half-day off when you first start to feel sick might just keep you from having to take off two or three days later on!
After taking my own advice (and approximately 17 bathroom breaks), I feel as good as new! Keep these tips in mind next time you catch the office bug, and I’ll bet you’ll feel the same in no time.
What are your tricks for beating a cold?