The wind chill is 30 below and you need physiological resilience and strong immunity to meet the non-stop demands of your day. Whether a mother at home, a student under exam pressure, a busy executive or a high performance athlete you can’t afford to come down with a cold, cough, or flu. Try these tips for a smooth disease-free transition to the coldest winter months.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Following ideal daily and seasonal routines cannot be overemphasized to prevent disease. Colds, cough, and flu can be a thing of the past by following these simple all
1. Avoid cold foods and drinks. When the weather is cold, ingesting cold foods and drinks can block the micro circulatory channels located throughout the body. When these channels are blocked then improper bi-products of digestion and toxins accumulate in the body, preventing ideal functioning throughout the physiology. Conversely, warm or hot foods and drinks allow essential nutrients to be assimilated properly while promoting the flow of vital energy throughout the body.
2. Sip hot water throughout the day. Drinking sufficient water will also help to retain body heat. Stay hydrated for optimal physiological functioning. Hot water reduces toxicity, helps to remove sinus and digestive blockage while keeping the body in balance.
3. Inhale steam. This trick can save you from clogged sinuses or mistaken exposure to extremely cold air. You can simply boil purified water or add essential oil of eucalyptus to boiling water. Lean over the pot and inhale the steam many times a day until sinuses are unclogged.
4. Warm water nasal clearing. You can use a neti pot or splash warm water from the faucet into the nostrils. Inhale the water and then blow it out to ensure that the nasal passages remain open and clear. This step will make a big difference in clearing out that stuffy head feeling while aiding in preventing colds and flu.
5. Stay warm — inside and out. Some experts recommend dressing in layers. Keep head, feet and fingers warm. Avoid cold air by protecting the nose and sinuses from exposure to extreme cold with a warm scarf. Dress warmly with head and nose covered when going outdoors in extreme cold. Also note that the sustainable trend to keep indoor air temperatures as low as possible, even in winter, could mean exposure to indoor air which is too cold for those fighting off signs of flu or colds. With this in mind, it is important to be certain that your body is warm enough both indoors and out during the cold season.
6. Stay active. You can maintain healthy circulation and body heat with regular exercise including yoga as well as more aerobic exercises.
7. Breathe pure air and drink pure water. Fresh air is an important daily component for good health. Conversely, indoor heating impurities can act as pollutants and be a source of disease. If it is too cold to get fresh air, invest in a top quality air purifier or plan some vacation time in a warmer climate. Pure water is also a must for overall health to nourish the body and help to flush out impurities which can impede normal functioning.
8. Prevent sore throat. The throat is the gateway for pathogens to enter through the mouth. Getting rid or infection at this level can often prevent further symptoms of cold and flu. For sore or scratchy throat immediately take time to gargle many times throughout the day. Try warm water with pure rock salt. You can also add turmeric to the gargle.
9. Strengthen immunity. Take immune boosting vitamins and herbs daily to ensure the highest levels of immunity. Eat immune boosting foods and immune boosting spices such as turmeric, cumin, fresh ginger root, and black pepper. These spices also aid digestion to help the body maintain proper balance.
10. Eat a cold/flu pacifying diet in cold weather. The two elements most likely to become imbalanced in the extreme cold season have been described by traditional Ayurveda as vata (responsible for motion in the body) and kapha (responsible for bodily structure). Vata body types become chilled very easily, may have trouble sleeping due to the cold, and may be prone to dry cough. When vata symptoms prevail, drink vata pacifying tea throughout the day and favor warm fluids including soups and lentils with lemon. Kapha body types have to be careful of excess mucus and should favor warm dry foods with bitter, pungent and astringent tastes. Avoiding excessive sweet, sour and salty tastes is also helpful to balance kapha. You can enjoy astringent grains such as millet, barley, and quinoa as well as kapha pacifying soups, beans, lentis and vegetable dishes, while avoiding cheese and cold dairy products including yogurt, ice cream and heavy fats such as butter. Greens, winter squashes, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are all good vegetables to balance prevent a build up of excess mucus. Fresh ginger root added to dahl and vegetable dishes can help to burn impurities which may be the causative factor when colds and flu are lurking. And don’t forget organic honey. It is a major medicinal for the kapha element, offering healing astringent qualities and important nutrients and minerals. Kapha balancing fruits include apples and pears. Try them baked or stewed in the cold winter months along with stewed dried fruits such as raisins and apricots. Add kapha pacifying spices including cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cayenne, and cumin.
11. Early bedtime and ideal daily routine. Eat on time. Sleep on time. This balances your body’s biological clock so that the physiology functions with peak efficiency and ease. Staying rested also increases one’s resilience to most easily handle physiological challenges and the stress of extreme cold temperatures, while providing extra energy to deal with the demands of the day. The ideal ayurvedic daily routine recommends arising early in the morning. Early bedtime makes it easy to follow this prescription. Eat a very light meal at night to support proper digestion and your “early to bed” routine.
12. Daily elimination. Adequate amounts of pure water, fresh organic fruit and whole grain fiber should do the trick. If not, try natural products such as Elim-Tox to aid the digestive and elimination process. If you are not already adding healthy bacteria to your digestive system, a good quality probiotic will also help to ensure a healthy intestinal tract.
When cold winter winds start to blow remember these simple tips to avoid cold season ailments including colds, coughs and flu. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound
Simi Summer, Ph.D. is an organic advocate, independent researcher, educator, and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and
informed consumer choices.