Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cold Season

I hate cold season (know anyone who likes it?? I’d like to meet them).  So I’m always on the look out for ideas for keeping healthy in the wintertime.  I ran these past my doctor and got the okay --- Here’s the plan
1.    Gargle with plain old water every day.  Yep --- he said it works.  Apparently it flushes out viruses before they attach themselves to the lining of your throat and work their way down into your respiratory system.   He suggested getting in the habit of doing a quick gargle a couple of times a day --- before lunch – mid afternoon etc. The only trick is:  don’t swallow the water when you’re done with your gargle.  You want to get rid of whatever the gargle flushes out!!
2.    Spray your nose with saline spray.  This keeps the membranes in your nose moist and less susceptible to invading bacteria and viruses. They also have been shown to reduce congestion --- which can go a long way toward preventing my other winter-time nemesis:  sinus infections.  I’m a huge fan of SaltAire --- because I love the little pump on the side of the bottle.  But I’ll confess, I make my own refill – and re-use the bottle for a little while (not too long, I don’t want to grow bacteria in there and undo all my hard work)
3.    Have fruit for breakfast.  I’ll admit, I’d never even thought of this one.  But it makes some sense to me:  In the summer (when I almost NEVER have colds or respiratory problems) I eat a ton of fruit.  When fall and winter arrive, I naturally eat less fruit.  I just never made the connection.  Apparently fruit helps your body produce its own natural anti-viral compound. 
4.    Drink tea and wine --- yep, the doctor really okayed this one too.  Tea has been shown in all kinds of studies to increase the body’s production of proteins that are used in fighting attacks on lung cells and mucus membranes.  And wine (the red kind) has flavonoids that fight the virus responsible for most colds --- the rhinovirus.  Now we’re not talking about finishing off the bottle yourself – but a cup of tea in the afternoon and a glass of wine with dinner sounds like a very civilized way to battle cold season to me.