Our bodies need a daily dose of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to function. Eating regular, balanced meals provide fuel for your body and keep it in good health. When we’re sick, it is important to fuel the body with as many vitamins and minerals as possible. This can be hard to do especially if you lose your appetite when you have a cold or flu and not having the energy to prepare hearty, vitamin filled meals.
Soups are a great way to get your daily vitamin dose and refuel your body. The water content will also help to keep you hydrated. Be sure to add spices and herbs like black pepper, garlic and turmeric to your meals. These spices not only enhance the flavour of your food, they also help with blood and oxygen circulation in the body.
When you begin to regain your appetite and recover, it’s important to keep maintaining a healthy diet to avoid falling sick again. Eating lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your body stocked up with the vitamins it needs to get you back to full health.
Moisturising is important whatever the weather. When you are ill, your skin is susceptible to blotchy patches and redness. Our bodies often suffer from dehydration when we’re ill which can take its toll on the skin.
The heating is most likely to be cranked up to full blast when we’re feeling under the weather, this can further dry out the skin. Using a humidifier, especially as you sleep, not only helps to relieve nasal congestion, it also adds moisture to the air which will help to keep your skin moisturised.
Some people are prone to puffy eyes when struck down with the flu. Try putting two cold, wet tea bags or slices of cool cucumber onto your eyes to ease the puffiness. Sleeping with your head slightly elevated on pillows should also help to reduce puffy and tired looking eyes.
Moisturising your skin helps it to maintain its protective properties while leaving it feeling and looking healthy and smooth. The skin around and under your nose is a key area to keep moisturised when you have a cold. The constant nose rubbing and blowing may lead to redness, dry patches and flaky skin. Keeping this area moisturised will assist in reducing these effects.
Chapped lips can also be a problem for many during colds and flu season. Use a wash cloth to gently scrub and remove dry skin from your lips and keep your lip balm close to hand. Keeping your lips moisturised is the best way to fight chapped and cracking lips.
When we’re ill, the layers come out and so does the mass supply of tissues. When our skin comes into contact with the wrong types of fabrics, it can appear red and become easily irritated. Keeping warm is an essential part of beating colds and the flu, but it is important to choose soft, natural fibres which won’t irritate your skin. Layers of itchy and scratchy clothing will only make you more uncomfortable and frustrated which is likely to prolong the period of your illness. Eliminating stress and keeping relaxed is essential to aid a speedy recovery.
You should use soft tissues to blow your nose as rough tissues will irritate the skin around your nose causing redness and broken skin. There is a high chance that you will develop dry and flaky skin around your nose when you have a cold, choosing soft tissues will help to minimise the risk. Though you may feel 50% inside, there’s no need for your skin to look equally as bad. In addition to the pocket tissue and hand sanitizer you’ll be carrying around, keep some moisturiser in tow too. Remember to keep the area around your nose moisturised in order to prevent dry and flaky skin.
It is essential to drink lots of fluids when suffering from a cold or flu as the body tends to suffer from dehydration when we’re ill. A high intake of fluids will help the body flush out toxins and bacteria more easily which should help your illness to pass and put you well on the road to recovery.
Drinking lots of water can help with fever symptoms; a glass of cold water can help to cool your internal temperature where as hot water will help to warm you up. Drinking hot ginger and lemon tea is another great remedy for colds and flu. As well as working to soothe your chest and throat, ginger and lemon are excellent ingredients for nourishing and cleansing your skin.
Headaches, fatigue and dizziness are often common symptoms of the flu. Many people experience a lack of appetite which cause them to feel faint and dizzy. This makes it hard for the body to refuel and get the nutrients it needs to function as our food intake becomes limited. Soups, fruit juices and smoothies can help with this as they are an easy nut effective way of getting nutrients into your body. Choose soups, juices and smoothies made from fruits and vegetables with a high Vitamin C content like broccoli, peppers, berries and citrus fruits.
Steam inhalation not only helps to open up the nasal passages and ease blocked noses, steaming your face is also a great way to keep your skin and complexion clear. Citrus and menthol oils in particular are great for treating congestion due to their strong scent. Adding a few drops of essential oils like mint, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus and tea tree oil, to hot water and inhaling the steam can help to alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu. These oils are great for clearing your sinuses as well as cleansing and deep cleaning your pores. You can also add essential oils to bath water to help with stiff muscles and muscular pain which often accompanies the flu. Alternatively, you could use a hot or cold compress made from hot or cold water blended with essential oils to help lower your temperature and provide relief from headache, muscular pain and fever.
The calming properties of oils like lavender will help to soothe and relax your body as you recover. When the body is relaxed, we are more likely to sleep better. Steaming your face before going to bed will help to clear your mind and nasal passages which will hopefully result in a great night’s sleep. Most people usually find sleep hard to come by when suffering from a cold or flu due to congestion and discomfort. Using essential oils will help you feel more relaxed and ease the symptoms of colds and flu.
Red Kidney Beans
Beans are a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is what’s responsible for carrying toxins waste products out of the body. Soluble fibre is the fibre that helps us to break down and process fats. It also helps to reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are released into the blood stream which leaves you feeling fuller for longer.
When our bodies don’t get enough fibre, toxins and waste are not removed effectively from the body and our digestive system works less efficiently. This can impact the skin in a number of ways. Since our bodies are not shedding waste products and breaking down food properly, the risk of our skin producing spots is substantial as the body may begin to release waste products through the skin. Our skin can also be left looking dull in appearance when our bodies are unable to properly extract the nutrients we need from our food.
You should add beans to your diet during the winter to help keep you full and energised throughout the long winter days and nights. Beans are also full of B vitamins, anti-oxidants and proteins which help with repairing damaged cells in the body.
Try eating a bowl of chilli for a hearty winter meal, it’s full of nutrients, fibre and slow releasing energy. Adding extra chillies can also help to improve your circulation and give your health a further boost.
Cinnamon is another great winter spice. Its warm, aromatic flavour and scent stimulate blood flow and circulation around your body which is useful for treating circulatory problems.
Cinnamon helps to bring blood and oxygen to the surface of the skin as it has anti-clotting properties which allow blood to flow more easily. When blood and oxygen are more able to reach the skin’s surface, the result is a brighter and healthier skin tone.
Cinnamon is rich in iron, fibre, manganese and can also help with weight loss as it’s sweet flavour helps to curb cravings for sugar and sweet treats.
To boost you daily intake of this wonderful spice, try adding a sprinkling of cinnamon to a bowl of porridge or breakfast cereal, herbal teas, fruit teas or to your morning cup of coffee.