Seems that every second person around has a cold right now. Lots of tissues being handed around, plenty of coughing and sneezing. Perhaps it’s the sudden change to cold, wet weather.
So, if, despite your best efforts you’ve caught that cold, you have my sympathies. You’re probably feeling achy, tired and your nose is streaming. It’s pretty unpleasant. How can you get rid of this illness faster and get back to feeling good again? You don’t want it to hang on forever.
Alas, every year I treat people who have been suffering from colds that just hang on and on. Often they haven’t been able to recover because they chose to pretend that they could just carry on with their demanding schedule, without extra rest and support. So, here are the steps you can take to make sure you’re not one of the victims of the ‘endless cold’.
First and most importantly, rest. Your immune system is using up lots of energy just fighting the infection. Even if you can’t spend the day in bed, make sure you retire early and get as much sleep as you can. This is the time to take a break from your rigorous fitness training regime. You’ll probably have to say ‘no’ to some requests too. Be assertive. It’s the failure to take time out to recover that is at the root of colds that go on forever. When you get sick, it’s usually a message from your body to slow down.
Next, “feed your cold”. It’s an old saying, but I think it’s a useful one. After all, your immune system needs the extra energy, and extra nutrients to build immune components.
Protein rich foods are good, in an easy-to-eat form. Like stews and casseroles, soft boiled eggs and meat-based soups. Fresh vegetable juices are ideal too, because they can deliver a big shot of vitamins and minerals in one glass. Raw food is ideal for fighting infections like colds, and vegetable juices provide that raw nutrition without having to eat ‘cold’ feeling salads.
Old folk remedies can be helpful as well: Hot lemon drinks made with lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey; or a ginger drink. Here’s how: Just grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger into a mug, pour over hot water and add a little honey to sweeten. Like the vegetable juice and fresh fruit, these drinks contain naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting nutrients.