It’s the cold and flu season, and once the early symptoms hit you, you can’t help but feel helpless, hoping that the infection will pass as quickly and painlessly as possible, and run to the pharmacy to get medicines and a month’s worth of Kleenex. Even a cold that lasts just a few days can leave us weak for up to a couple of weeks after the symptoms are gone, which is a big problem.
Luckily, we’ve got some good news for you, you can beat this thing in 24 hours by following this guide.
Stage one: 7:00 am
Take a hot shower. It might be difficult to get out of bed at this hour, especially if you’re feeling sick, but the steam in the shower will clear up your sinuses, making it easier to breathe. In addition, there are quite a few other health benefits of taking a hot shower.
Stage two: 8:00 am
Take two teaspoons of elderberry syrup. You can find elderberry syrup in most health stores. The syrup is made of the fruits of the elderberry, which disrupt viral bonding with the cell lining, thus slowing down and even completely blocking the spread of the viral infection in your body. Furthermore, elderberries were found to ease cold and flu symptoms, as well as throat and sinus infections. It’s important to note that elderberries should not be consumed raw, but instead consumed as a syrup. Take two teaspoons of the syrup three times a day to ease your symptoms and shorten the lifespan of your cold.
Refill your water bottle. When you’re sick, the body requires a lot of fluids to fight the inflammation.
Stage three: 9:00 am
Instead of coffee and cereals, have tea and eggs. Eggs are packed with proteins and essential amino acids, all of which strengthen the body and help it combat the viral infection. Make yourself a hot cup of tea with honey and fresh lemon juice, and fry some eggs. Remember to add the honey to your tea — it’s far more effective than most cough syrups. If you’re a vegan or allergic to eggs, you can substitute them with a chickpea flour pancake instead, which is rich in proteins, omega 6, and B vitamins.
Stage four: 12:30 pm
Add chickpeas and pumpkin seeds to your salad. Both are excellent sources of zinc, which is essential to the body’s fight against infections and inflammations. There are several studies that have found that adding zinc to your daily intake during the first 24 hours of a cold will reduce its intensity considerably. If you don’t want to add chickpeas or pumpkin seeds, you can just use a zinc supplement.
Stage five: 2:00 pm
Refill your water bottle. When you’re sick, the body requires a lot of fluids to fight the inflammation, because as body temperature starts to spike and increases water evaporation in the body, it can lead to dehydration. Additionally, the body needs liquids to help flush out the congestion that accumulates in the nose and throat, so make sure to add an extra two cups of water to your daily consumption. Remember that a cup of tea or a cup of soup is not a direct replacement for a cup of water.
Stage six: 3:00 pm
Go for a walk. You’ll be amazed how much a 20-minute walk outside can boost your energy levels and reduce your aches and pains. Walking outside also helps by opening up your sinuses, making it much easier to breath. Studies have also shown that exercise increases the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping the body’s immune system.
Stage seven: 6:30 pm
Have chicken soup. It’s not a myth that chicken soup does the body wonders in times of illness, as the cooked chicken releases the amino acid cysteine, which works like a bronchitis cure. If you want to boost the flavour and healing abilities of your soup, add some garlic, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, as well as some hot red pepper that contains capsaicin, which eases congestion.
Stage eight: 9:00 pm
Clear your nose and throat. A congested nose and throat can turn from a discomfort into a severe inflammation, and that is why it is important to clear your sinuses before you go to bed. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, and gargle for 30 seconds at a time. A bonus… this process is great for your gums too.
Stage nine: 10:00 pm
Go to bed. When fighting a cold, watching TV until the middle of the night is not a good idea, because your body needs at least seven hours of sleep in order to beat the infection. A smart thing to do is to add an extra pillow that will prop up your head — this will help keep your sinuses and airways clear, and you’ll enjoy a significantly higher quality of sleep, something you’ll be thankful for the following day.
The writer is Past President, Rotary Bangalore Indira Nagar, District 3190.
Chickpea pancake recipe
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons chickpea flour, 100 grams chopped tofu, 4 chopped cilantro leaves, handful of mushrooms, handful of pumpkin seeds, ½ chopped onion, 4 Brazil nuts, 3 tablespoons of raw tahini, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper to taste.
Preparation: Combine all the ingredients (except the cilantro, onion, and mushrooms) until the mixture is nice and smooth. Quickly fry the onion and mushrooms, then add the mixture and fry over a high flame for about three minutes.