It’s that time of the year again. The time when it seems like viruses and germs are everywhere from hand straps on SkyTrains to doorknobs at the mall, and even lying in wait at the office water cooler. With all the bugs lurking around town, it seems like one errant sneeze and you’re doomed to a week of sick days and Netflix.
But there’s hope. By introducing these power foods and supplements into your daily routine, you can arm yourself effectively against the various viruses invading Vancouver this fall and winter.
Homemade chicken soup is packed with healthy fats and minerals. Slow simmering does more than bring out the flavour, it infuses the soup with immunity boosters such as cysteine, an amino acid that helps break down phlegm.
It’s easy to get dehydrated so keep up the water intake, at least eight glasses per day. Herbal teas are also rich in vitamins and minerals and can help you rest. Avoid too much caffeine as it depletes you and interrupts sleep patterns.
Swishing a tablespoon of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water can loosen any phlegm from your throat and the salt acts as a natural disinfectant for any loose bugs floating around your mouth.
Say yes to the muggy
Although the climate does tend to be humid in the lower mainland, a dry cough brought on by a cold and or flu can be a drag. Crank up the humidity by taking steamy showers and using a humidifier at home to reduce that hacky cough.
Funky smelling as it is, garlic is packed with allion and allicin, two compounds that have anti-viral properties. So the next time you’re exposed to someone with a wet cough, get to the produce section for some fresh garlic. Gnawing on just one clove can dramatically boost immunity.
You’ve probably noticed it growing along the bike lanes downtown, but did you know lavender is a powerful hand sanitizer? If you’ve been out and about and exposed but can’t get to a spot to wash your hands, use some lavender oil to ward off the bugs.
This little known tree bark when literally translated means bow stick. Fitting given that Amazonian tribes used it for creating weaponry. It’s also become a valuable tool in the fight against colds and flu. It is rich in Lapachol, which has been shown in studies to activate T-cells, needed for prime immune function.
So the next time someone sneezes in your face on transit. Wash your face and hands thoroughly as soon as possible, then load up on some friendly foods and supplements that will bolster your immunity and keep you going strong for the long wet winter.