You’ve done everything right, but you’ve fallen ill anyway. If you’re a regular exerciser, it will be tempting to stick to your workout routine. But that might not be a good idea. When you’re ill, you need to rest, particularly if you have a fever. Taking three rest days won’t hamper your fitness too much. Some health experts believe it’s probably okay to do moderate exercise if you have the sniffles. You know your body best. Listen to it and do what it tells you.
Although eating may be the last thing on your mind, a low-fat, high-fibre diet will help speed your recovery. Base your diet on fruit, vegetables and brown rice with a little fish, chicken or pulses. Drink plenty of hot liquids, such as chicken soup, to nourish you. Hot herbal tea is also a good choice. Or squeeze lemon juice into a mug of hot water and stir in a dollop of honey. Focus on light meals to prevent overloading your digestive system.
In addition to antioxidants, be sure that you get an adequate supply of zinc, required for the production and activation of the T-cells involved in battling infections. Tuck in to foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains as they are all rich in zinc.
Herbal remedies to try
- Drink elderberry tea to ease cold symptoms.
- Gargle with cooled sage tea to soothe a sore throat.
- Drink ginger in fresh, tea or capsule form to ease aches and a tight chest.
- Take echinacea, either as a tincture or tablets, every couple of hours.
- Add a few drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, pine, clove and/or tea tree oils) to a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Position your face over the bowl to capture the rising vapours. Inhale through your nose to clear congestion
NB: Avoid clove oil if you’re pregnant.
Winter foot warmer
A mustard footbath, prepared by adding two teaspoons of mustard powder to one litre of hot water, is said to draw blood to the feet, thereby helping to relieve congestion in the head and lungs.
Reduce a fever
Sponge your body with lukewarm water to which you have added a few drops of lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus essential oil. Treat small areas of your skin at a time, covering up the parts of the body that are not being sponged, to avoid becoming cold.
Boost your family’s immune system with these foods:
- Yoghurt contains probiotics – good bacteria that line our intestines and defend our body against germs. Rather opt for plain yoghurt to get less added sugar than you do from fruit flavoured versions.
- Red peppers have about twice as much immune-enhancing vitamin C as an orange; a daily intake of vitamin C may help decrease the duration of a cold.
- Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, a pro-vitamin that gives sweet potatoes their orange pigment. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and research suggests vitamin A may be particularly helpful in the treatment of respiratory infections.
- Garlic contains sulphur compounds that have been shown to help kill viruses. Fresh garlic has more immune-boosting potential than cooked, so add a clove of fresh minced garlic at the end of cooking.
- Ginger contains gingerol, which improves circulation and enhances immune and digestive function. Make a tea by finely chopping a 2,5cm piece of fresh ginger. Steep it in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped spring onions, then strain and sip.
Source; Everyday ME