Sure, it’s pretty bold of me to claim I’ve got the cure for the common cold, but hang with me a moment here; I’ve done some fieldwork to back me up. It’s been a long time since I had a cold, in fact, I can’t recall the last time I did. I have, however, gotten hit with the makings of a doozy of one—more than once—over the last year, and each time, I’ve kicked it. Here’s the thing: we completely underestimate what our bodies are capable of. When given the right tools, it can do extraordinary things. If you’re a vegan, you’re probably aware of the power of juicing and how a plant-based diet has actually cured many people’s cancer. The proof is in the pudding (so to speak) when we see the amazing results coming from The Gerson Institute. If juicing can help the body fight off cancer, why can’t it do the same for the common cold? It’s all about our immune system, right? So often, when people feel a cold coming on, they attack it with drugs. Or they succumb to it and “let it take its course.” Sure, it’s a great time to catch up on your favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu, but you also miss work and well, life. I’m way too busy to get sick. Plus, it’s the absolute pits and chances are, the rest of the household gets it too. So last week, when I felt a tickle in my throat that quickly morphed into a sore throat, I groaned. I refused to let it take hold. I kept it from progressing and three days later, it was gone for good.
Here’s my 5 go-to, works-every-time, steps I take to combat the cold:
- Juice. Juice like you never have before. I combine kale, spinach, orange bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, apple and ginger. I throw it all in sometimes, but feel free to choose your own concoctions. And drink 3-5 big glasses throughout the day. If you don’t have a juicer, either invest in one (it’ll pay for itself with no missed work days, no doctor bills and no meds) or use a high powered blender.
- Green Tea. Admittedly, I’m not a big green tea fan, but when I want to fight a cold, I suck it up and drink 3-4 cups of it a day until I feel better. Green tea is packed full of antioxidants vital for staving off germs and bacteria.
- Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables. Don’t eat your normal diet. Sure, you probably eat relatively healthy, but when it comes to fighting a cold, you have to amp up your ammo. Try to stick to at least fresh fruits and veggies such as salads. You may be craving hot soup, but the heating process can dilute the nutritional power of some vegetables. Plus, broth tends to be loaded with sodium. Remember, if all goes well, you’re only going to be eating this way for a couple of days. In fact, you may be surprised how good your energy levels are. I spent the week eating leftovers of the Chopped Greek Salad over spring greens and a bit of hummus. Make a bowl of the Spectacular Superfood Salad. However you choose to prepare your fruits and veggies, just eat ’em raw, and eat ’em often.
- Rest. We all know sleep is our bodies’ way of recharging. This is never truer than when your immune system is compromised. I’m fortunate that I work from home, but if you can’t, take your juices and veggies with you. Don’t over exert yourself and stay away from the gym. (The good thing about juicing and eating raw veggies and fruits, is you won’t gain weight.)
- Drink warm lemon water. Or cold; your preference. I’m not the best water-drinker, but if I fill a large water bottle with warm water and a slice of lemon, I can down it no problem. It might also satisfy your craving for something hot and soothing.
So there you have it. I truly swear by these methods to combat the cold when it comes lurking. The key is keeping your immune system strong and providing your body with these essential nutrients so that it has the best chance of winning against viruses. It also doesn’t hurt to incorporate juicing into your regimen in order to keep you from even having to go to war with an impending cold in the first place.