Maybe you’re doing all you can to prevent a cold from coming on. Or, you might be trying to prepare for the coming allergy season.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, they just happen. However, having a few tricks up your sleeve (and the right ingredients) will help reduce your symptoms and keep your days feeling a little better.
How do allergies develop?
Allergies are a natural histamine response that some people have - whether it’s to pollen, food, certain materials, etc. Sometimes, these are somethings we’re naturally born with. Other times, we’ve developed this histamine response over time.
There can be a variety of causes to that, including:
Mold overgrowth in your surrounding environment.
Overconsumption of inflammatory foods.
Moving to a new city or country
We may think the only remedy for this is over-the-counter allergy medication. While this can provide quick relief, much like cold medication, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. While it may sound contradictory, exposing your immune system can help prepare your body for potential threats.
Two main areas that can be particularly helpful include: bee pollen, and hops. Yes, we just told you to drink beer – but only the local kind. Start incorporating these into your diet during the winter season and feel the benefits when those spring allergies come around!
Note: use bee pollen or honey from a local source. The same can be said for hops. So if you live in British Columbia, check to ensure that the bees are actually born, bred and raised here, and that the hops are also grown here. Remember, just because it’s a local brewery, doesn’t mean all of the ingredients are local!
And what about those pesky colds?
No matter how much you’ve tried to boost your immune system to prevent this season’s latest bug, it still can get you with some sick co-workers or regular commutes on public transit (we’ve definitely been there). So what do you do when this happens?
So here are a few tips to give it the boost it needs.
Natural Cold Remedies:
1. Garlic: garlic is rated one of the top natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-second-second-date ingredients. However, it’s important to smash a clove of garlic and leave it sitting out for 3-5 minutes to release its magic.
2. Sleep: this might not be a “quick fix,” but it is essential to getting better, faster. And yes, if you want to skip leg day for that extra hour of sleep in the morning… we definitely encourage it! While you sleep, your body repairs itself and has more energy to put toward things like fighting off invading viruses.
3. Manuka Honey: Manuka Honey is an anti-viral, so, when you've come down with a cold, or the flu, it's great to add to teas, smoothies, or when mixing with ginger.
4. Nourishing soups and stews: There’s a reason your mom went straight to chicken soup when you were sick… but maybe skip the canned variety. Opt for homemade when possible, using bone broth or home cooked stock. First, chicken contains an amino acid called cystein which can help to expel the mucus buildup. By making your own broth at home, using vegetables, bones, and immune boosting spices, you get all of the vitamins and minerals that you would otherwise lose.
5. Anti-inflammatory foods: try adding ingredients like turmeric, leafy greens, and berries to foods to reduce the natural inflammation that comes along with colds. Try a green smoothie, or a turmeric tea!