The Best Years in Life
Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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What to Drink When You're Sick
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) As the colder months approach, we spend less time outdoors soaking up immune-boosting vitamin D, and more time indoors, inhaling dry, germ-filled air. We also tend to be more stressed as the holiday season approaches, another factor that makes us more vulnerable to getting sick.
If you're battling a cold, flu, sinus infection, or stomach bug, these drinks can help alleviate your symptoms and make the whole ordeal a bit more tolerable.
One of the best drinks for a cold, sinus infection, or flu is lemon water. Lemons are loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C and also provide antibacterial benefits.
As with all fruits and vegetables, organic is ideal.
For best results, rinse an organic lemon, cut it and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can, and mix the juice with warm, filtered water. Drink. Do this every couple of hours to boost your immune system and decrease the amount of nasties in your body.
Another good drink for when you're sick is green tea. Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which have been shown to boost immunity and help your body fight off colds and flu.
If your throat feels scratchy and sore, gargle room-temperature green tea three times a day. This will help decrease viruses lingering in your throat and may even help you sidestep a two-week battle with the bug.
Kombucha tea is a fermented probiotic drink made from sweetened black or green tea. It has both antibiotic and probiotic properties, making it the ideal drink for when you're sick.
Kombucha is believed to provide micronutrients that help boost immunity, improve digestion, and encourage your body's natural detoxification process. Drinking kombucha tea also boosts your metabolism, which keeps your immune system energized and ready to fight.
Coconut water is a great drink to have on hand when you're sick, especially if you're down with a stomach bug. In addition to containing antioxidants that help fight off nasty invaders, coconut water helps replenish electrolytes lost from multiple trips to the bathroom and/or a high fever. An eight-ounce glass of coconut water contains 600 milligrams of potassium, 60 milligrams of magnesium, and 45 milligrams of phosphorus.
Sometimes, when you're sick, the last thing you feel like doing is eating solid food. Or, you may be ravenous, but your throat hurts too much to swallow. Drinking organic green juice when you're sick is the best way to give your body a boost of essential nutrients while going easy on your insides.
Most fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, both of which are great for boosting your immune system. Don't have the energy to juice the vegetables yourself? No worries. Find a nearby juice bar or health food store that sells green juices and smoothies, and stock up on a few.
When you're feeling better, consider regular juicing to keep your immune system strong and sickness at bay.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a good drink for a cold. Although highly acidic, ACV keeps your pH levels balanced, which can help evict cold and flu germs before they have a chance to get settled in. Also, it helps thin mucus, which can be a blessing when you're going through box after box of tissues.
For best results, drink one or two tablespoons of organic ACV with "mother" (the strands of friendly bacteria, protein, and enzymes you see floating around at the bottom of the bottle). If taking it straight is overwhelming, mix it with filtered water. Consider adding a teaspoon of raw honey for a dash of flavor and an extra antioxidant boost. Do this two to three times per day until symptoms improve.
If you're feeling sick to your stomach, reach for some ginger tea. In addition to being a good digestive aid, it also helps reduce inflammation, fight nausea, and improve the function of your immune system.
For best results, cut some organic ginger into small chunks, put them in a mug, and pour hot water over them. Lay a small plate atop the lid of the mug and allow to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. (This will ensure the essential nutrients won't escape via steam.) Drink.
Chicken broth and chicken soup are the two most common natural cold remedies. This is because chicken soup contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help ease sinus and chest congestion while reducing throat pain.
Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, conducted a study that revealed an unknown ingredient in chicken soup seems to block or slow the amount of white blood cells migrating into the lung area. This may be why chicken soup helps ease constricted breathing and reduces a chronic cough.
If you're sick, the best thing you can do is drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. More than anything, your body needs this time to heal and repair itself. If you take good care of yourself now, you'll be back on your feet in no time.
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