Staying Healthy Through the Sick Season

The 2014-15 sick season may go down in history as one of the more frightening. Ebola, enterovirus are frightening enough, but that pesky pair: colds and flu are the real danger. NOW is the time to be vigilant. To help stave off infections, here are a few doctor-visit-free tips:

1. Stay hydrated! Easy enough, right? Drink water. It doesn't have to be fancy water, just water. For extra credit, add lemon juice, lemon rind, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Bugs hate spices!

2. Get zinc into your diet! Supplements are practical enough but experts differ on whether a supplement is as beneficial as eating foods that are rich in nutrient content. Shellfish, lean beef, lamb, cashews, and pine nuts are all great sources of zinc, and zinc helps build strength in your immunity system. 

3. Avoid SAD meals! SAD is an acronym for Standard American Diet, and if you read last week's post you can probably skip on down to #5. A diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables, plant-based proteins, complete grains and healthy fats will help ward off the bugs. Sweets, juices, and refined carbs are what the bugs want you to eat! 

4. Invent a cold fighting witches brew! Boil some water then start adding ingredients like lemon or orange rind & juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, sea salt, tea, honey, molasses, cayenne, cardamom, bourbon. Not all at once - that would taste pretty gross. Stand over the pot as it boils - the steam is good for you. 

5. Take salt baths and flush your nasal passages out with salty solution. The netty pot is an excellent way to rid your mucus membranes of the little buggers, and salt baths are soothing and also assist in the release of toxins. 

6. Make sure that your hands are clean, especially when you are in close proximity to others. Door knobs, elevator buttons, subway and bus handles, and public countertops are all hotbeds for microbes laying in wait. Do your part! Also, keep tissues around so that you can use them if you sneeze or cough, you can minimize exposure of anything your body expels. 

7. Finally: exercise! In our experience, people either do way too much or way too little when it comes to fitness under the weather. You need to rest (in fact, those zzz's represent a bullet point of their own), but you do need to exercise. Get your heart rate up, but keep it simple. Don't push it too much. You don't want to further compromise your immunity. 

Keep these tips handy. You may need them in the coming months.