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Got a cold? Head to the kitchen!

Screw those overpriced decongestants and syrups, the lozenges and spray thingys - what you really need when you get a cold is not really even at the drugstore. There are always exceptions to the rule, such as Vicks Vaporub - I'll concede to that. Hey, Tightwad is no doctor - but having battled nearly forty years of Canadian winters, she's come up with a few good theories about how to feel better faster, and cheaper.

The only way to get rid of a cold is not to get one, and the way to avoid catching a cold is to beef up your immunity by what you eat, drink and do. Here are some suggestions:

Avoid all sugars: Sugar prohibits your immune system from functioning properly, making you susceptible to all sorts of bugs. So, step back and walk away from the soda and danish!

Eat foods that boost your immune system: Fresh raw garlic has powerful anti-viral, antibiotic and anti-fungal properties and boosts the immune system in general.

Regular exercise: Get moving and bump up that immune system; it particularly helps the lymphatic system, which plays an important part keeping your immune system healthy.

Lots of sleep: Even staying still will bump up that immune system. Potent immune enhancing compounds are released during sleep and many immune system functions are greatly increased by a good snooze.

Drink lots of fluids: Water, herbal teas, all the good stuff. Red wine drinkers are about 20% less likely to contract the flu; this may be related to the vitamins and antioxidants such as resveratrol, present in red wine. Just sayin'.

Know your ABC's: Zinc, vitamins C and D, along with a plant derived flavinoid called quercetin are all found in food - red onions, red apples and green and black teas are good sources of quercetin. Get cooking food people!

Raw honey (the exception to the sugars rule), echinecea and tumeric are also really good immunity boosters.

Do shots: Buckley's has nothing on the horrible taste of oil of oregano, seriously, but it's a natural antibiotic, antimicrobial and antioxidant that will stop cold and flu infections in their tracks and beg for mercy.

Rely on the old wives tales: Chicken noodle soup helps and so does Vick's - sure, put it on your throat and chest, but sources tell me that rubbing some on the soles of your feet at bedtime (socks a good idea in this circumstance) can work miracles.

Feel better yet? What home remedies to you use to get through cold and flu season?


Jason said...

Don't forget ginger!

Little House said...

Saying "no" to sugar is my downfall! I'm such a sugar addict that even when I have a cold, I reach for the soda over water. I need to start getting better at that!

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