You keep your pockets filled with mini bottles of hand sanitizer, you wash your hands religiously, and you make it a point to stay away from those with runny noses, yet you still catch the seasonal cold. Dietician Sheela Prakash tells us, "It's a common misconception that you can catch a cold from not bundling up as the weather gets colder. The truth is that colds are simply caused by viruses. When it’s cold outside, these viruses tend to spread more easily because people are spending more time indoors, with much less ventilation, passing germs to each other." While we may not be able to tell you exactly why you still catch that obnoxious cold that keeps you up at night with congestion and coughing, we can help you curb the symptoms.
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When it comes to cold remedies, many people swear by chicken soup, but who has the time, or the energy, to sit by a stove and make an entire meal when they're sick? So we talked to two doctors, a nutritionist, and a registered dietician to find out the best drinks to try when you've come down with a cold. Doctors and nutritionists alike reminded us that there really isn't a single drink that will cure your cold, but symptoms can be dramatically curbed if you use the right elixir.
Water was a common recommendation, as well as naturally squeezed juices high in vitamin C like orange and grapefruit. The thing to remember about juice, though, is to avoid processed juices that are full of sugar. If you’re a fan of juicing, try combining your favorite citrus fruits for a mixture that's bound to aid in curbing the common cold. Another favorite was the water enhancer Emergen-C. This little wonder packet comes in a variety of different formulas that will help either boost your immune system if you feel a cold coming on, or help to fight a cold when it’s already arrived with a high dose of vitamin C. Another favorite that registered dietician Sheela Prakash swears by is ginger. She tells us, "Ginger contains chemicals that can help alleviate cold symptoms." Doctor Marian Greenberg says, "Hot liquids in general help mobilize secretions, and all liquids are good because everyone feels worse when dehydrated, and you don't realize how dehydrated you become with a cold — mouth breathing, cough, fever, etc., all contribute to dehydration."
Drinks that are easily accessible have become the go-to way to curb cold symptoms. From Emergen-C all the way to ginger juice, these drinks will help to alleviate the negative effects of a cold. We can’t guarantee you’ll be up and running a half-marathon, but these nine drinks will certainly have you feeling a little better after a few doses.
This article was originally published on September 9, 2013.
6 Drinks to Help Cold and Flu Symptoms
Influenza, under-the-weather, cold and flu&hellipregardless of what you choose to call it, it is almost inevitable that you will suffer from it at some point or another. When your immune system is compromised, the influenza virus can attack and before you know it you are sick as a bird, feeling powerless over the influenza beast.
Although you can&rsquot make the cold and flu disappear instantly, you can help speed-up the healing process by resting up, avoiding sugar and consuming the following immune system boosting super drinks.
Oranges are packed with vitamin C, an essential nutrient when you’re feeling under the weather. According to a review conducted by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, at the Australian National University, vitamin C is helpful in preventing the common cold for people exposed to sickness-inducing environments, such as cold weather, and can help lower the duration and severity of a cold.
When you’re feeling sick, good ol’ H2O can be one of the most helpful drinks to sip. Staying hydrated can help loosen trapped mucus. Try drinking at least the recommended eight glasses of water a day to keep yourself fully hydrated since we tend to lose more fluids when we’re sick.
No. 8: Don't Fly Unless Necessary
There's no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that's what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can hurt your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, ask your doctor about using a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.
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 or must travel, see a doctor.
SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control: ''Symptom Relief.'' American Academy of Family Physicians: ''Colds and the Flu.'' Charles B. Inlander, author, 77 Ways to Beat Cold and Flu.
6 Foods That May Help Curb Your Allergies
Seasonal sniffles, sneezes, and itches got you down? There are things you can eat that may ease your allergy symptoms.
No food is a proven cure. But fruits and vegetables are good for your whole body. They're full of nutrients that can keep you healthy. They may also protect you from seasonal allergies.
1. Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all have quercetin. Elson Haas, MD, who practices integrative medicine, says quercetin is a natural plant chemical. According to Haas, this chemical may reduce “histamine reactions.” Histamines are part of the allergic response.
2. Kiwi is a fuzzy fruit rich in vitamin C. It can also cut down on histamines. You can get Vitamin C from lots of foods, including oranges and other citrus fruit.
3. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain. According to Lawrence Rosen, MD, bromelain can reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma.
4. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel have Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce inflammation. Go for two servings of fish every week. A study from Japan found that women who ate more fish had lower levels of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.
5. Kefir is a yogurt drink that contains probiotics. These are good-for-you bacteria that live in your gut. Rosen says they may help prevent and even treat seasonal allergies. You can get probiotics in fermented foods. Look for yogurts that say “live active cultures” on the label. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also good sources.
6. Local Honey. The research is mixed on whether local honey helps you head off allergies. “If you take small doses of the honey early in the season," Rosen says, "you may develop a tolerance toward pollen in your area.” One study found that people who ate birch pollen honey had fewer symptoms of birch pollen allergy than those who ate regular honey. It’s not a sure thing, but see if it works for you.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers.”
Kompauer, I. Public Health Nutrition, June 2006.
Ruiter, B. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, July 2015.
Elson Haas, MD, author integrative family doctor.
University of Maryland Medical Center: “Allergic Rhinitis.”
Pavan, R. Biotechnology Research International, 2012.
Secor, E. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, September/October 2012.
Schubert, R. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, March 2009.
American Heart Association: “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”
Miyake, Y. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, June 2007.
9 Drinks That May Help to Curb Your Cold Symptoms - Recipes
Get recommendations for staying hydrating to support overall health.
There&rsquos an old saying &ndash you are what you eat. But what you drink, and how much you drink, can have an enormous effect on your body and health, too.
Start every day with a glass of water before you eat any food, since most people wake up a bit dehydrated, says Sonya Angelone, a dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It&rsquos also best to stick with water throughout the day, she says. The typical recommendation is eight glasses a day. In general, avoid soda since it can be full of sugar, aspartame and phosphoric acid. The latter can negatively affect your body&rsquos ability to absorb calcium.
Water can get a bit boring, but there are other ways to stay healthy and hydrated. These recommendations can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of popular beverages.
Tea is one of the most-studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients. Green, black and white teas are all rich in polyphenols &ndash compounds from plants that have strong anti-inflammatory effects. You&rsquoll find the highest polyphenol levels in green and white teas. Green tea is generally viewed as the most beneficial of all because its active ingredient is a polyphenol known as epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been shown to be as much as 100 times stronger in antioxidant activity than vitamins C and E. Studies have shown it also helps preserve cartilage and bone, although there are no widespread controlled trials of it in people with arthritis.
Tips: Green, white and black teas do usually contain caffeine, so you may still want to keep your consumption moderate and don&rsquot drink it before bed. You can add lemon or other sweeteners like honey to flavor your tea, but don&rsquot add too much to keep calories and sugar levels low.
Research shows coffee also has antioxidant polyphenols. That means coffee can help fight free radicals in the body, which cause cell damage. Other research suggests coffee may have a protective effect against gout as well. The link between coffee and increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoporosis is debatable. Some studies say coffee increases the risk, while others do not.
Tips: In general, the best rule of thumb is to drink coffee in moderation &ndash no more than one or two cups of coffee a day. Watch your caffeine intake and be mindful of coffee and espresso drinks that are full of whipped cream and syrups that cause calories and sugar levels to skyrocket.
Some claim that dairy-free is the way to go for arthritis, but the jury is still out when it comes to linking dairy consumption and inflammation. Like coffee, some studies show dairy can be inflammatory, while other studies show it helps reduce inflammation. For the most part, the benefits of avoiding dairy are highly individual, and there is not enough research to suggest that people with arthritis should ditch milk.
Tips: Drinking milk, which is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein, may help prevent gout and fight the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Make sure you opt for low-fat milk to avoid consuming extra calories and saturated fat.
Orange, tomato, pineapple and carrot juices are all high in the antioxidant, vitamin C, which can neutralize free radicals that lead to inflammation. Tart cherry juice has been shown to protect against gout flares and reduce OA symptoms.
Tips: Be sensible when drinking juice: it&rsquos delicious, but also high in sugar and calories. Check with your doctor if you&rsquore a fan of grapefruit juice because it can inactivate or alter the effect of many medications.
Many dietitians prefer smoothies over juices because they require using the whole fruit or vegetable&ndash giving you the added bonus of fiber, which helps clean out arteries and fight constipation. Colorful fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidants. Adding berries or leafy greens like spinach or kale can give you big doses of vitamins and nutrients.
Tips: Smoothies containing yogurt are full of good bacteria (probiotics) as well as vitamins. Also, adding a fermented beverage like kefir can boost probiotic content, which can decrease inflammation in your body. Make sure you&rsquore choosing a low- or no-sugar yogurt or kefir.
Red wine has a compound in it called resveratrol, which has well-established anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies show wine consumption is associated with a reduced risk of knee OA, and moderate drinking is also associated with a reduced risk of RA. But many experts question the strength of these studies and argue it&rsquos hard to distinguish confounding factors in this research. Other research shows that alcohol has detrimental effects on arthritis.
Tips: Overall, experts agree there aren&rsquot enough health benefits in alcohol to start drinking if you don&rsquot already do it. But if you do enjoy an occasional adult beverage, drink it in moderation, says Beth McDonald, a nutritionist at the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. The general recommendation is one drink a day (of alcohol) for women, two for men. Any more than that squanders any benefit and can actually promote inflammation, she says.
If there&rsquos a magical elixir to drink, it&rsquos water. Hydration is vital for flushing toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation. Adequate water intake can help keep your joints well lubricated and prevent gout attacks. Drinking water before a meal can also help you eat less, promoting weight loss.
Tips: Don&rsquot bother wasting money on enhanced waters. The added amount of nutrients, electrolytes or antioxidants is generally miniscule.
Home Remedies for Nausea May Save You a Trip to the Doctor and the Pharmacy
There are basically four ways to deal with nausea:
1) Seeing a doctor and taking prescribed medication
2) Going to the drug store and finding an over-the-counter acid reliever
3) Resting and letting nausea run its course or
4) Treating nausea with home remedies that incorporate food and drink.
If you&rsquore looking to go the more natural, home-remedy route, there are several drinks to settle nausea that can be consumed at home.
These seven drinks that help relieve nausea can soothe your stomach when nothing else sits right. Unless you have food allergies or sensitivities, it&rsquos a low-cost, no-risk way of managing nausea.
Many people are surprised that just a simple glass of cold water can do the trick. Additionally, warm herbal teas such as ginger and peppermint are also among the best drinks for nausea.
And even drinking soda works for some. These drinks may be able to help get rid of nausea better and faster than other remedies will.
20 Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drinks (Love these!)
Raw, fermented apple cider vinegar is what you should reach for when you feel the need for a toxin flush. It may be able to improve pH levels and blood sugar levels as well as prevent cancer. In addition, apple cider vinegar may be able to reduce triglyceride levels and protect against Candida infections.
1. My Favorite Detox Drink
Apple cider vinegar has a series of health benefits. It may be able to fight off infections, cleanse ulcerations, heal wounds, fight cancer, reduce blood pressure, improve digestive health, manage diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels, and treat nail fungus, head lice, and warts. Be sure to look for raw apple cider vinegar that has not been heated and stripped of its nutrients.
Photo: Rose and Ivy Journal
2. Apple Cider Vinegar & Ginger and Honey Switchel
Benefits of apple cider vinegar may include providing healthy gut bacteria for a properly function GI and immune system as well as protection against oxidative damage to cells that can leave your skin looking aged. Apple cider vinegar may also work as an appetite suppressant as well as protect against cancer.
3. Bonfire Cider
This recipe is packed with a number of ingredients that are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, such as turmeric, garlic, lemon, Echinacea root, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, pepper, onion, horseradish root, and of course, apple cider vinegar. Onions and apple cider vinegar especially have anti-viral properties that may help you fight off your next cold.
4. Apple Cider Smoothie
This smoothie is naturally sweet and creamy with ingredients such as avocado, an apple, and apple cider vinegar. Avocado provides good fat that may help curb appetite as well as give you great looking skin. Apples are high in vitamin C, which can be used as an antioxidant to combat free radicals and eliminate toxins.
5. Apple Pie Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Why eat your apple pie when you can drink it? This recipe calls for organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which has not been treated at high temperatures and retains all of its nutritional goodness. Apple cider vinegar is great at soothing, healing, and protecting the gut, which may help support a healthy immune system.
6. Maple Syrup Vinegar Soda
If you’re looking for a healthy yet sweet alternative to soda, try this recipe. Ingredients include maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and almond extract, and cold sparkling water. Maple syrup is not only tasty it is also a good source of antioxidants and zinc. It may also act as an antibiotic.
7. Perfect Summer Watermelon Shrub
Each cup of watermelon is a good source of an amino acid known as citrulline, which is commonly converted to the amino acid arginine in the kidneys and other organs. Some research suggests that a greater conversion of citrulline into arginine may block excess fat from being stored in cells via an enzyme called TNAP.
8. Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie
This smoothie recipe looks almost too good to drink. It features nutritious ingredients such as chia seeds, which are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, blueberries, strawberries, a banana, mint leaves, and apple cider vinegar. This antioxidant-packed combination of superfoods helps eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation, and restore the immune system to tip-top shape.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar Limeade
This recipe gives boring ole water a good makeover by adding apple cider vinegar and limeade to it. In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar is a great detox agent as it protects liver and kidney functions and boosts the immune system. It is also high in polyphenols and other phytochemicals, or plant compounds that may be able to prevent cancer.
10. Apple-Ginger-Cucumber Green Smoothie
This smoothie gets its dark green color from spirulina, an algae that is high in B-complex vitamins, mineral, protein, gamma-linolenic acid, antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, trace elements, and a number of unexplored bioactive compounds. Other benefits of spirulina include anti-bacterial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-diabetic properties.
11. Apple Pie Elixir
This recipe is as easy as apple pie. Combine apple cider vinegar and a few pinches of herbs such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with two cups of purified water and you’re good to go! Ground cinnamon has anti-clogging and anti-microbial benefits. It may also help control blood sugar levels.
12. Pineapple and Apple Cider Vinegar Juice
This juice is packed with enzymes and other compounds, such as bromelaine (in pineapple) that are sure to reduce inflammation, especially in the gut. Apple cider vinegar has the added benefit of supplying good bacteria to the digestive tract. Be sure to use fresh pineapple juice that is not from concentrate, otherwise you’ll miss out on all the good nutrients.
13. Gorgeous Very Berry Smoothie
This smoothie has a gorgeous (as the name implies) purple color that bleeds healthy ingredients! It features mixed berries, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar. Berries and apple cider vinegar may be able to help stabilize blood sugar levels. They are also both great foods for stabilizing free radicals, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system.
14. Peach Shrub
This recipe shows you how to make a peach shrub, which includes marinating the fruit with sugar for a few days in the refrigerator and then combining it with apple cider vinegar. Peaches may help prevent cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels, as we asll neurodegenerative diseases.
15. Apple Shrub
Apples are high in phytonutrients that are great for stabilizing blood sugar levels. They are also high in antioxidants such as vitamin C as well as pectin, a water-soluble fiber that has been associated with improving cardiovascular health. Other possible benefits of apples include anti-cancer and anti-asthma properties.
16. Strawberry Shrub Cooler
Strawberries are known for their high content of vitamin C, which may act like an antioxidant in the body to eliminate toxins and neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation. Free radicals are great at disrupting enzymes from getting important messages to cells, tissues, and organs. Antioxidants work by removing the hydrogen bond in these dangerous molecules and rendering them harmless.
17. Strawberry Balasmic Shrub
Balsamic vinegar is a good source of iron, calcium magnesium, and potassium. It may be helpful for curbing appetite, losing weight, boosting the immune system, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and improving blood circulation. Balsamic vinegar may also help stimulate the production of pepsin, which is needed to break down protein.
18. Lavender Kumquat Shrub
Kumquat is a type of citrus fruit that are incredible sources of fiber, minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, and manganese, vitamins, such as many of the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, and antioxidants, such as carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, and tannins. Kumquats may have anti-cancer and anti-viral health benefits.
19. Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Elixir
This recipe includes cayenne pepper, which is known to be a natural fat burner as well as a good source of anti-inflammatory benefits. Cayenne pepper increases fluid elimination and perspiration. It is also a natural stimulant, which gets rid of toxins faster. This elixir is naturally sweetened with raw honey, which is full of immune boosting benefits.
20. Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Garlic, and Lemon Drink
This drink recipe features all the kings of detoxification, including lemon, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Lemon helps purify the blood, which eases the work load put on major detox organs such as the kidneys and liver. Garlic has been known as a “cure-all” with antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
10 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms When You're Sick
Grandma was right &mdash herbal teas may help stop those sniffles.
When you have the sneezes, coughs, aches, and pains of a winter cold or flu, you may not want to do much more than curl up on the sofa under a fleece blanket with a box of Kleenex and your good friend Netflix. But add one more important image to that sniffly scenario: a steaming mug of hot tea. Grandma&rsquos favorite home remedy has been helping cold-sufferers feel better for thousands of years. First of all, the hot liquid can soothe your throat and break up congestion. And if you add a few drops of local honey, you have a natural cough suppressant. Or, squeeze in a lemon and get a burst of vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of your cold.
But one of most important healing functions of tea may simply be that it keeps you hydrated, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, author of Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked). "When you're sick, eat high-water fruits and veggies and drink a ton of fluids &mdash at least 10 cups per day from unsweetened sources, including tea," London says.
Here are 10 of the most soothing varieties to try:
Just a few sips of peppermint tea can start to make you feel better. The menthol in the peppermint leaves can have a slight anesthetic effect on your throat, suppressing your cough (which is why peppermint appears in many cough drops). Plus, scientists from the USDA report that when tested in a lab, peppermint has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities. While we don't know for sure if those lab results translate to humans, a cup of minty tea certainly couldn't hurt!
The dried flowers of chamomile have been used for centuries to help lull you to sleep &mdash flavonoids from the plant have a tranquilizing effect. Since getting a good night&rsquos sleep is an important part of your cold-recovery mission, chamomile is an excellent choice. There is also some evidence the tea acts as an anti-inflammatory, so sip away.
Echinacea comes from a purple flower found in North America and is used by Great Plains tribes as a traditional cure. Studies have shown that taking echinacea as a supplement can cut your chances of catching a cold by up to 58%, and can reduce the length of your cold by more than a day. Brewing it as a tea is potentially a tasty way to get all that protective goodness.
Ginger tea is a favorite with singers to soothe their throats &mdash the bioactive ingredients in it act as an anti-inflammatory and may also inhibit microorganisms that can lead to infection. And if your cold comes with an upset tummy, ginger is also known to relieve nausea.
Like other small, dark berries, elderberries are filled with health-boosting antioxidants, ranking even higher than cranberry and blueberry for polyphenol content. Studies with elderberry syrups and extracts have shown they can reduce the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms we love the flavor sipped in a fruity tea.
This might sound a little gross, but slippery elm bark is known for having a lot of mucilage: a sticky, gel-like substance that can soothe an itchy, sore throat. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, you may find slippery elm among the active ingredients in throat lozenges. So if you want to take a break from those cough drops, you may want to try sipping on this calming brew.
If you like something on the sweeter side, you might enjoy licorice root tea. Licorice root, or Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a popular herbal remedy in Chinese medicine. It's typically used to treat gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, but research has shown that licorice root has antimicrobial and antiviral qualities which could help in getting over a nasty cold.
Like slippery elm, marshmallow root contains mucilage that will calm an irritated throat. In 2020, researchers who were looking at the effects of marshmallow root discovered that the herb also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties &mdash even more reason to enjoy this mild tea when you're feeling a bit under the weather.
Green tea has many health benefits that can support your body in fighting off infection. It's high in antioxidants and has antiviral qualities, and while more studies need to be done to really say, there's some evidence that green tea could help to prevent the flu and the common cold. Pour us a mug, please!
As mentioned above, lemon's cold-fighting power comes from its abundance of vitamin C. You can squeeze it into your favorite herbal blend if you'd like, but you can also just squeeze half a lemon into hot water to make your own "tea" of sorts. Lemon water is super sour, so for taste's sake, you may want to stir in some of your favorite honey.
According to Dr. Bressler, blueberries are among the highest in antioxidants in fruit. One important purpose of antioxidants is they contain flavonoids, which work to reduce damage to cells and also boost the immune system, both of which are necessary when you're suffering from a cold. They're an easy snack to munch on between hot showers and lots of rest.
Strawberries contain anthocyanins, which not only give this fruit its amazing red color, but they also contain properties that offer anti-inflammatory and antiviral benefits. If you feel a cold coming on, strawberries are definitely the way to go to start to fight it. We always knew there was another reason besides their unbelievable taste to love this fruit.
Colds are the absolute worst. When you're lying in bed stuffed up, you can feel completely helpless. Hopefully, now you can give these natural cold remedies next time they hit.