With no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, current treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. You can take one of a variety of medications that may help relieve your symptoms. Or you can take the natural approach.
1. Drink hot liquids
Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration, and can soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. Plus it’s nice to drink warm.
2. Blow your nose often — and the right way
It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.
3. Stay rested
Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket.
4. Take vitamin C
Boost your immune system with Vitamin C every few hours. It will ensure your immune system is in top condition to fight the virus.
Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than 1 year old.
6. Take a steamy shower
Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.
7. Use a salve under your nose
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help soothe the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.
8. Apply hot or cold packs around your congested sinuses
Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.
9. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head
This will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.
10. Echinacea and goldenseal for your stomach
Use herbs such as echinacea and goldenseal which are said to help with influenza, also try ginger tea to settle your stomach.
11. For you throat
Take slippery elm and marshmallow for an irritated throat and cough.
Also you can dissolve a zinc lozenge under your tongue every two hours, not only are these a great immunostimulant, they will also make your throat feel better.
12. Garlic pills to cleanse
Try to swallow 2 garlic pills 3 times a day; these act as an antiboitic and are said to cleanse the system.
13. For your nose try Eucalyptus
Inhale eucalyptus oil by putting five drops in a hot bath or a cup of water.
14. As soon as you can eat..
Start with broth (chicken or vegetable) and dry crackers once you can tolerate food.
Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.
If you’re looking for a list of good carbs and bad carbs, you might need to change your ideas about dieting a little. While certain carbs that are worse for your body than others, there aren’t really good carbs and bad carbs, just good amounts and less healthy amounts.
It seems like more and more people are counting carbs, or at least paying more attention to the amount and type of carbs they eat. Popular diets such as the Atkins Diet have convinced people that there are good carbs and bad carbs, and the bad carbs need to be avoided and the good carbs limited.
While it’s a good idea to keep your intake of “bad” carbs in check, many health experts recommend that carbohydrates should make up at least 55 percent of a person’s total caloric intake, while others say that number should be as high as 65 percent.
This is fairly high so you don’t want to discount carbs. At the same time, it’s clear these people aren’t talking about the carbs you’ll find in candy, cookies and other highly processed foods, so that’s where the idea of a list of good carbs and bad carbs comes from.
A List of Good Carbs and Bad Carbs
If you had to make a list of carbs that you should eat more of versus carbs you should avoid, it basically breaks down into simple carbs being “bad” and complex carbs being “good.”
Complex and simple are terms that have to do with how the food is broken down into energy (sugar) in the body. Simple carbs are broken down quickly, giving your blood sugar a spike and sending you running back to the kitchen or snack machine within hours of your last fix.
Complex carbs are the ones that give your body the best fuel. They are usually found in foods high in fiber, which break down more slowly, giving you a more steady blood sugar level through the day and making you feel less hungry and irritable when mid-afternoon rolls around.
It’s a great idea to get more of these carbs into your daily diet.
Here is a list of good carbohydrates :
- Whole grains and foods made from whole grains, such as bread and cereal
Bad carbohydrates are :
- Refined grains like white bread and white rice
- Processed foods such as cake, cookies and chips
- Soft drinks
Just because these foods have less desirable carbs does not mean you should kick them out of your life forever. A list of good carbs and bad carbs should not be seen as a strict rule. Yes, you should get most of your carbs each day from the “good” list, but you certainly don’t have to cut our alcohol or skip the birthday cake, as long as you don’t make it an every day or every meal thing.
Cutting carbs for Weight Loss
Cutting back on the bad carbs can help you lose weight, as well as give you a feeling of more energy and less irritability. Carbs are the fuel that makes your body run. Putting the right fuel in your engine makes a world of difference.
Because the good carb foods tend to have higher fiber and lower calories than many processed bad carb foods, you’ll find yourself feeling fuller while eating fewer calories though it’s possible you’ll be eating a bigger volume of food.
If you think about the kinds of foods you’re adding and the ones you’re giving up, then this makes sense.
It would take a lot more fruit to equal the same number of calories you’d eat in a candy bar, and you’ll probably feel satisfied after one piece or serving of fruit which is much lower in calories than the candy bar. Even better, you’ll feel satisfied for a long period of time and won’t feel the need for another unhealthy snack later in the day.
Can you go for more than a day without eating sugar in any form? Do you drink soft drinks or milkshakes, eat Danish pastry, fruit yogurt (a 6 oz. cartoon has 7 teaspoons of sugar or honey), donuts, bagels, cakes, cookies, most bran muffins or many other sugary items. Can you go without any other foods that contain words ending in “ose” such as sucrose, fructose, etc., or contain corn syrup, corn sweetener, honey, barley malt, maple syrup, sugar cane solids, or rice syrup? Do you pig out on a carton of ice cream or a bag of cookies? If you find that sugar is part of your diet every day, you may have a problem.
The problem with sugar
The average person eats 153 pounds of sugar a year. That is equivalent to over 1/2 cup of sugar a day. The teenage boy eats twice that much. So you say, “Who cares?” What is wrong with sugar?
There is much scientific evidence written in many medical journals showing that sugar can ruin your health. Do you have any of the following symptoms? Do you fall asleep after meals, have allergies, gas, bloating, extended stomach after meals, joint pains, headaches, chronic fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, over weight, skin problems, high blood pressure or other symptoms? These all can be signs of a sugar problem.
Here’s the problem: The human body was simply not designed to handle refined sugars.Refined sugar is new to the human diet. Metabolizing refined sugar is quite a challenge, but if forced to, the body will struggle to cope with it. This struggle causes serious disturbances, and after time, disease is the guaranteed result.
We have evolved from early man having digestive mechanisms to digest foods. We do not have the digestive mechanisms to digest the glut of sugar that we are eating on a daily basis!
Sugar in your body
Recently, information has emerged as to what happens to the minerals in the body when sugar and other abusive foods are eaten.
Sugar throws body chemistry into biochemical chaos lasting for six to eight hours after consumption. During this period, hormone, fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism are greatly disrupted.
After consumption, refined sugar is rapidly absorbed by the body, which dangerously increases the sugar content of the blood. Excess sugar causes production of excess insulin, which signals cells to take up sugar. Cells then absorb sugar, to get it out of the bloodstream. This solves one problem but creates another: Now the body’s cells have too much sugar. To correct this imbalance, cells turn the sugar into saturated fats and cholesterol.
Increased insulin levels not only tell the body to store fat, but they also tell it not to release fat. This makes people get fat and stay fat. It causes fat to be deposited in our cells and organs, resulting in atherosclerosis, fatty liver and kidneys, and obesity.
These fats cause blood cells to become sticky thereby increasing the chances of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Sugar increases “bad” LDL cholesterol, decreases “good” HDL cholesterol, and increases triglyceride levels in the blood. If antioxidant vitamins and minerals are deficient, these triglycerides can be oxidized causing serious health problems. In addition, red blood cells are choked by the saturated fats and this reduces their ability to carry oxygen to our tissues.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is another problem caused by sugar consumption. When insulin is secreted into the blood, it makes blood sugar levels fall rapidly. Insulin levels remain high however, so the body continues to take up sugar beyond the point where it needs to. The result is hypoglycemia. Symptoms include weakness, dizziness, crying spells, insomnia, aggression, and depression.
Sugar in breakfasts or lunches can cause children to do poorly in school. They become hypoglycemic about 60 minutes after eating sugar and this affects brain function. Many teachers claim that their students are “brain dead” after lunch, and this is why.
Sugar-induced hormone imbalances tax and weaken the immune system to the point where it can no longer defend the body. When insulin causes blood sugar to fall excessively low, the adrenal glands secret hormones that pump blood sugar back up. Daily consumption of sugar causes an overworked biochemical balancing act resulting in adrenal exhaustion, which in turn decreases the body’s ability to respond to future stress. Adrenal exhaustion is now a common problem in the chronically ill.
Sugar quadruples adrenaline levels, while increasing both cholesterol and cortisone. Cortisone is known to depress immune function. Studies show that the ability of white cells to destroy harmful bacteria is reduced as sugar consumption rises. This is why children, who eat lots of sugar, are more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections.
Another point is Fiber Deficiency : Humans were designed to derive energy from complex carbohydrates, which are naturally high in fiber. By contrast, a high sugar diet provides calories without the fiber that is essential to human health. Insufficient fiber causes materials to move too slowly through the digestive tract. This can cause constipation, which is a big problem in our society. It also causes waste to remain too long in the colon where it can serve as food for harmful bacteria, thereby producing gas and toxins, and promoting intestinal inflammation and bloating.
The bottom line is that sugar upsets the body chemistry and suppresses the immune system. Once the immune system becomes suppressed, the door is opened to infectious and degenerative diseases. The stronger the immune system the easier it is for the body to fight infectious and degenerative diseases.
Sugar is implicated in the following diseases and many more: allergies, arthritis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, headaches, yeast infections, and cataracts.
So if you have any of the symptoms or diseases mentioned, remove all forms of sugar from your diet for two weeks, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. Not only will some of those symptoms disappear but you will be strengthening your immune system, allowing it to do the job it was meant to, defend you against foreign invaders.
Some of the other effects of sugar on the body are:
* Increases overgrowth of candida yeast organism
* Increases chronic fatigue
* Can trigger binge eating in those with bulima
* Increases PMS symptoms
* Increases hyperactivity in about 50% of children
* Increases tooth decay
* Increases anxiety and irritability
* Can increase or intensify symptoms of anxiety and panic in susceptible women
* Can make it difficult to lose weight because of constantly high insulin levels, which causes the body to store excess carbs as fat.
The food you eat has a huge impact on your body’s long term performance.
Given this – and the fact that we’re basically on a slow decline to death from the moment we’re born – you’d think we’d care more about what goes into our mouths. Instead, we gorge ourselves on fast food and spend thousands of dollars on anti-aging “miracle” treatments that claim to undo the years of damaged we’ve inflicted on ourselves by ingesting things we can’t even pronounce.
There are plenty of foods, however, that can nourish you and help keep age-related demons like cancer, dementia and osteoporosis at bay. They’ll also whittle your waistline, which is something that study after study shows increases longevity and improves overall health.
Here is a list of eight foods you should add to your diet in order to add years to your life :
Garlic is a nutritional superstar that adds a wealth of taste to dishes without adding excess calories. Allicin, which is responsible for garlic’s strong smell and biting flavor, is an extremely potent antioxidant, and research published by the National Academy of Sciences shows that eating garlic appears to boost the body’s natural supply of hydrogen sulfide, which is manufactured by the body as an antioxidant and means of transmitting cellular signals that relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama and author of a large-scale study on the health benefits of garlic, advises crushing garlic and letting it sit for 15 minutes before cooking it in order to trigger a reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in the plant.
Experts used to believe egg yolks were extremely unhealthy, they’ve now revised their assertions to recognize the benefits of the nine essential amino acids and six grams of healthy protein contained in one egg. Eggs also contain lutein (helpful in the prevention of macular degeneration), zeaxanthin (similarly good for your eyes and possibly helpful in preventing cataracts), and choline (important in the regulation of the brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems); they’re also one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring Vitamin D. Note that lack of Vitamin D is the cause of many cancers, but especially of breast and prostrate cancer. You should also know that there is no real link between egg consumption and heart disease. The link between Hollandaise sauce and butt flab is well-documented, however, so please ease up on the Benedict.
According to a study conducted by Tufts University, the pigments, or anthocyanins, in blueberries appear to be an antidote to oxidative stress, one of the main components of the aging process. They also help your brain produce dopamine, which is critical to happiness, memory and coordination. Tufts researchers found that ½-cup of blueberries daily effectively reversed declining memory and loss of coordination in laboratory rats. Frozen blueberries make a great addition to protein shakes or yogurt, and fresh berries are delicious as an alternative to the sugary candy that will make you fat and probably kill you.
4. Leafy Greens
Spinach and kale – the stuff that made you gag when you were younger but also made Popeye strong enough to fight dudes three times his size – are full of antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds like sulforaphane, beta carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. Spinach is also loaded with folate, which was shown by an Australian study published by the Journal of Nutrition to dramatically improve short-term memory. Greens are a great thickener for soups and smoothies, but they’re also far more delicious than you remember when sautéed in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Another dark-green, antioxidant-rich veggie, broccoli is part of the Cruciferous family of plants that aids the body in fighting against toxins and many forms of cancer. Several nutritional experts believe that eating broccoli raw or steamed helps to preserve important enzymes that are lost in the cooking process, but any broccoli is good broccoli when it comes to its overall health benefits. Broccoli is also a plant source of calcium, which can help prevent osteoporosis later in life and aid in the body’s absorption of Vitamin D.
You’ve probably heard by now that oily fish like salmon and tuna help to prevent heart disease by keeping arteries lubricated, but salmon is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which, according to omega-3 expert Stephen Cunane, Ph.D., are essential to brain development and health. In fact, Alzheimer’s rates in different countries are consistent with the amount of fish present in the average citizen’s diet. Omega-3’s are also known to aid in weight loss, improve mood and help soothe certain skin conditions. Be mindful of where your fish comes from, though: wild salmon get their adorable pink color from eating krill and shrimp, but farmed salmon are fed food coloring to achieve the same hue. Wild Atlantic Salmon is currently thought to be the safest salmon option.
Doug was right; beets really are nature’s candy. They’re surprisingly sweet, especially considering their low calorie content (approximately 22/beet), and they contain folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. Preliminary research demonstrates that Betanin, an antioxidant found in the vegetable, could play a significant role in the prevention of heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Animal studies also show that eating beets significantly slows the growth of skin and lung cancers, so these babies are poised to become disease-fighting superstars in the not-so-distant future.
Just like salmon, flaxseeds are chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids (and happen to be one of the few plant sources of that provide the nutrient). Being plants, they also contain several phytoestrogens (as the name suggests, plant estrogen that mimics the healthful effects of estrogen in the body), one of which is lignin, now thought to improve cholesterol, as well as easily absorbed plant protein. Ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil can be added to everything from oatmeal to pasta dishes in lieu of fattier and more expensive fish.