We cannot blame poor health on the appearance of swift cold winds and single-digit temperatures. A virus can be caught when the residual droplets are released into the air from a sick person who has sneezed, coughed, or blown their nose. The secondary means is an act so simple it is performed 16 times an hour. Our hands brush against eyes, mouth, or our nose after touching levers, counter tops, or another’s hand containing a virus. While keeping clean hands is about the only combatant against this method of transmission, it may not be done in time, or done enough times, to prevent a debilitating and contagious respiratory illness this winter. The alternative is to boost our immune systems to better defend the body against infection.
The Miracle: Water Plus
A doctor’s number one recommendation is to encourage hydration, reduce the stress in your life, and allow the body to get plenty of sleep. In the case of preparing our bodies for a long season of combating sickness, it requires fluids. In addition to drinking orange juice and copious amounts of water, you may wonder what additions to water could boost your immune system.
- One of the most widely used and researched herbs is One flu study discovered Echinacea shortened the severity of symptoms and stimulated the immune system. Teas featuring this herb to combat flu may have other ingredients; yet, how many would associate immune function with licorice root or cinnamon bark?
Gardening Tip: Easy to grow in a garden, you may be familiar with its other name, coneflower.
- A wonderful combination is to allow lemon and ginger root steep in boiling water for up to 30 minutes, then add With the vitamin C found in lemon, combining the natural soothing effects of honey, and the removal of toxins encouraged by ginger, you’ll soon claim this tea to be one of your favorites.
Tip: Ginger root and lemon can be sliced, and frozen for convenience.
Old Standard Recipes: Lemons were used primarily to build resistance to cold and flu, and speed up healing. Try gargling with honey and lemon in salt water.
- One addition is to steep lemon, honey, and cinnamon in hot water. The combination of honey and cinnamon prevents mucus buildup, while escalating hydration levels.
Fact: Honey includes vitamins, trace enzymes, amino acids, and beneficial minerals. It has antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Looking for a sugar substitute? Try honey!
Preparing Herbal Teas and Infusions
Ah, herbal teas are soothing, warm, and relaxing. With tea, boiling water can be poured into a mug or a French press, and allowing twenty minutes to steep. Infusions are defined as allowing herbs to steep for four to ten hours. Straining can be easily achieved with a French press.
Tip: To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, by bobbing them up and down while you brew.
Eating Your Way to Health
Maintain great health centers around key ingredients such as almonds, beef, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and yogurt; yet, this list is not complete. By knowing what you need, start planning your meals to include great enriching ingredients and herbs.
- Broccoli: One of the healthiest vegetables, it contains vitamins A, C, E, many antioxidants and fiber. (Cook it as little as possible.)
- Chicken soup: Combining chicken with broth, and adding garlic and onions, this wonderful concoction is not only delicious, but good for the body, too!
- Citrus fruits: Clementines, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and lemons and limes produce white blood cells, and boost health.
- Fish: Protecting the lungs from respiratory infections, among other benefits, eat plenty of oysters, lobster, crab, and clams, and salmon, mackerel, and herring.
- Garlic: While garlic fights infection and bacteria, it also lowers blood pressure.
- Oats and barley: These grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities.
- Red bell peppers: Rich in beta-carotene, red peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits.
- Thyme and sage: Two great herbs to strengthen respiratory difficulties.
Grab a mug and a dinner plate, and let’s drink and eat to great health this winter! Cheers!