A plethora of myths surround do-it-yourself sickness secrets, and while some hold true, many are made up. One of the most popular is advice not to touch any dairy products when a cold hits because it’ll produce more mucus, but there’s no medical basis for this assumption. In fact, a cup of ice cream can soothe your throat or even get some calories into you when you don’t want to eat.
Another tale is that sickness spreads the quickest before symptoms even show up — not true. You’re at your most contagious two to four days after exposure, which is at the beginning of a sickness when you first start showing symptoms. Stay at home as soon as you start feeling under the weather and don’t wait until you’ve spread germs around the office to catch up on some rest.
Speaking of rest, while relaxation is important for the body’s immune system to work at optimal capacity, you should still try and squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise. Rigorous workouts at the gym won’t help you, but studies have shown those who allotted half an hour of moderate exercise felt better in the evenings than those who just laid around in bed all day.
8 EVIDENCE-BASED REMEDIES THAT ACTUALLY WORK
- Chicken Soup: The classic go-to by mothers and grandmothers everywhere, soup has true healing powers. Its creates an anti-inflammatory impact by slowing down the movement of neutrophils. This will decrease the chances of cells collecting in the lungs and ultimately relieve you of congestion.
- Eat Healthy: Nutrient-rich food is key to boosting the body’s immune system by flooding it with dietary nutrients. A healthy balanced meal can increase gamma interferon, which is essential for immunity and viral and bacterial infections.
- Apple A Day: Apple cider vinegar has been shown to fight off infections, but a few slices off an apple can attack common cold viruses. Just 100 grams of apple equal 1,500 mg of vitamin C. Bonus: peels are rich in flavonoids, which lowers the risk for heart disease.
- Vitamin C: Studies aren’t definitive on whether or not vitamin C can prevent or stop colds, but it has been proven to reduce the length of colds by increasing growth in T cells.
- Honey: Has been shown to be as effective as the over-the-counter common cough supplement dextromethorphan. Honey can fight lung infections thanks to increased activity, which releases inflammatory relief of cytokines in order to repair cells.
- Garlic: Not only does it decrease length and severity of flu symptoms, but it also stimulates the immune system. Garlic works best consumed raw, and has been shown to increase the growth of gamma delta T cells, which are able to locate infectious pathogens and remove them from the body.
- Echinacea: Taking this herbal remedy can help treat the common cold by up to 58 percent, and even reduce the life of the cold by 1.5 days. Taking about 900 mgs of extract twice a day should do the trick.
- Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Can help boost immune system and relax the body; however, it’s not recommended a sick person hit the bar. Drinking too much lowers the immune system’s defense and makes the body and those around a person susceptible to germs.
February 9, 2015 4:50 PM By