How to Boost Your Immune System & Recover from Colds

Earlier this year I battled a sinus infection, and through the sniffles and fatigue, I dreamed of brighter and healthier days. Thanks to a tried and true antibiotic and lots of hydration and rest, I made a full recovery and was back to chasing the boys and our regular routine. And thanks to having my tonsils removed last fall, it didn’t manifest into strep or tonsillitis like the many times before. Most recently spring allergies and a cold have had the best of me, and it’s had me thinking about how grateful I am for my health. We tend to take our health for granted as we go about our action packed days, but truly it’s so very important. Eating well, exercising regularly, and sleeping at least eight hours a night all contribute to our vitality, however there are a few other things we can do to boost our immune systems and recover from illness.

And so, here are my tips and I hope they help you next time you’re feeling under the weather!


 

Drink hot water with lemon and ginger!: Hot water with lemon and ginger is my go-to anytime I feel like I’m getting sick. Soothing and delicious, the vitamin c in the lemon and antioxidants in the ginger will help to fight off any illness and kill bacteria. This drink also helps to alleviate congestion so you can breathe easy.

Up your vitamin C:  To stay healthy, try to regularly eat foods packed with Vitamin C – think crisp red pepper, sweet strawberries or juicy orange segments. And if you feel a cold coming on, up your Vitamin C intake with a supplement. It won’t always prevent the cold, but it can help lessen the duration.

Take a hot Shower: If you have congestion (nose or chest) take a hot shower. The steam will open up your nasal passages and chest and help you to breathe a bit better. If you have a fever though, stick with lukewarm showers until the fever breaks.

Eat super foods: Superfoods are nutrient dense foods filled with vitamins, minerals, friendly bacteria and antioxidants that nourish our bodies and help strengthen our immune system. Some delicious and nutritious superfoods to add to your diet include spinach, oats, citrus, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and berries.

Rest: You know that feeling when you are a bit rundown and on the verge of getting sick? That is your body telling you need rest! Whether you’re getting sick or are sick and trying to recover, get in bed (if you can!) or relax on the sofa and nap, watch a great movie, or read a book. Try to go to sleep early too!

Gargle with saltwater: If you have a sore throat, try gargling with a warm glass of saltwater. The saltwater draws out fluids from the infected throat, and can provide relief. To make the rinse, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz cup of warm water. Gargle at 3 to 4 times a day.

Use a humidifier: A humidifier can soothe your sinuses and airways and help you to breather easier if you have a congestion or an upper respiratory infection. We use a cool mist humidifier in the boy’s rooms anytime they have a cold, and it really helps. Just be sure to clean it often!

Hydrate: Sick or not, it’s vital to stay hydrated and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Clear/moisturize your sinuses: I love Simply Saline and often use it year round, especially when I’m sick or if my allergies are bothersome. If you have a cold and congestion or even dryness in your nose, try a little simply saline spray to moisturize your nasal passages and flush out any allergens.

Take probiotics: I’m a big believer in probiotics, and taking them to prevent illness as well as when you are sick to recover faster. Probiotics help to balance the friendly bacteria in your gut, and can even help with digestive issues and allergies. You can find them in fermented foods such as yogurt, or take them in capsule form.

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