how to cure a cold

The average adult catches 2-3 colds per year lasting up to 18 days each. That’s about 53 days a year spent feeling under the weather, just from colds alone. Who has time for almost 8 weeks of subpar living? I sure don’t! {Thankfully, since going vegan from vegetarian 4 years ago, I haven’t gotten a single cold!). 

Just because it’s called the common cold, does not mean they’re inevitable or that they should be shrugged off. Catching a cold is a sign that your immune system isn’t operating optimally, and if you seem to be catching multiple per year, it could be a sign that you have ongoing immune suppression that needs to be addressed. The immune system is the defender of the body once an invader of some sort gets past our first line of defenses in the skin, mouth, or nose. Ideally, your immunity works with your lymphatic and circulatory system to efficiently and effectively disarm bacteria, viruses, cancerous cells, parasites, fungus, or any “germ”.

The immune system is dependant upon nutrition. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is high in the antioxidants and nutrients that it needs for its activity, in addition to omega-3 fats to repair tissues and create healthy immune cells. Quality protein is required alongside fermented foods like kombucha and kimchi. Outside of food, there are a number of ways to support your immune system so you can lessen your chances of catching the dreaded cold!   

  1. Leave drugs out of it. If you catch a fever during a cold, resist the urge to medicate with an anti-inflammatory or painkiller as you’re actually causing more harm than good. Along with headaches and upset stomachs, we seriously over-treat fevers with pharmaceuticals instead of really asking what the body is trying to say. 

    You may be tempted to blindly throw a Tylenol at a fever, but this is problematic. Not only does it interfere with the immune system’s functioning, it causes the root issue of the fever deeper into the body by preventing the cleansing mechanism of fever from doing its job. Also, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a dangerous drug to be so commonplace due to its potential toxic effect on the liver and the ease of overloading the system with the drug.

    A fever and production of mucous is a specially-designed response by your immune system to cleanse the system and destroy toxic build-up that could otherwise cause disease. The inflammatory response of a fever is one of protection and healing. It’s meant to isolate the damaged cells and attract immune cells and healing chemicals to the site, enabling healing to occur but also making you feel achy or sore. While annoying, it is a vital part of our first-line defence against disease. Of course, if your temperature is above 104℉ or you’re experiencing fainting, hallucinations or vomiting, seek medical attention.

  2. Don’t run on empty! Neglecting to give your body rest, relaxation and deep sleep will have far-reaching effects on your life, but particularly on your immune system. Lack of sleep slows the production of white blood cells, whose job it is to fight disease, and impairs the activity of other important immune cells. During restful sleep, the body synthesizes immune-boosting compounds to be used the next day. Aim for at least 7-8 hours per night and even more during a cold.

  3. Avoid refined sugar. After just one serving of sugar, your immune system drastically lessens its activity immediately. Dr. Linus Pauling found that “sugar has the potential to reduce the body’s defences by 75% or more, and that the effect would last for four to six hours”.

  4. Seek immune boosters. Eat foods high in antioxidants or supplement with Vitamin A, C, or E. Try special herbs like Astragalus, Black Elderberry, Echinacea, or Olive Leaf. Try this delicious Detox Elixr from Oh She Glows as a daily preventative or if you start to feel a cold coming on.

  5. Find forgiveness. Pip Waller in Deeply Holistic tells us that “holding on to old hurts, becoming bitter, and nursing anger and resentment to others (or to life itself) has a directly suppressive effect on the immune system”. Forgiveness lowers stress levels by reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, automatically enhancing immunity. “A study found that HIV patients who truly forgave had higher levels of the important immune cells CD4, particularly known to attack cancers”. 

To learn more about supporting your immune system (and the rest of your body!) reach out today to book your free consult with our Nutritionist, Kiara. She is available for FREE 15 minute consults. Book yours below to see if holistic nutritional coaching is a good fit for you!


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