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9 Instant Remedies for Cold and Flu You Need to Know Now

9 Instant Remedies for Cold and Flu You Need to Know Now

It’s cold and flu season, and regardless of how hard you try not to, you still might get sick. Antibiotics don’t cure a cold, and if you don’t want to go to the doctor for the flu, then you should try some of these instant remedies for cold and flu.

1. Get plenty of rest.

Your body needs all the energy it can get to fight off the cold. If you’re able to get a lot of sleep as soon as your throat feels scratchy, you have a good chance of fighting off the cold before it takes you out of commission. Make sure you’re completely over your illness before jumping back into your regular routine. Trying to get back to business too quickly might keep you sicker, longer.

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2. Drink fluids.

Make sure you’re drinking at least two quarts of liquids a day. When you’re sick, you’re losing a lot of fluids from sweating, blowing your nose, and coughing. If you allow your body to become dehydrated, you’re just inviting the illness to set up camp even longer. Make sure you’re getting plenty of liquids, whether it’s from water, juice, soups, teas, or even water-heavy fruits and vegetables!

3. Get plenty of vitamin C.

Make sure some of that fluid you’re drinking is orange juice, high in vitamin C! You can also eat strawberries, kiwis, and green leafy vegetables—all of which have high vitamin C contents. Even a vitamin C supplement will help prevent colds, or shorten the duration of a cold you already have. These tablets can be found at most drug and health food stores.

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    4. Gargle with salt water.

    Mixing a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water makes a better medication for sore throats than mouthwashes you can buy at the store. It’s less harsh and it’s easy to make because you have the ingredients right in your kitchen! Gargle every six to eight hours until you feel some relief. If your throat is still sore after two days, call the doctor.

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    5. Use a steam treatment.

    It sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? A steam treatment will loosen the mucus in your nasal passages so you can breathe easier, and it does so without drying out your nose. If you have a humidifier, use that according to the directions. But if you don’t own a humidifier, there’s a simple solution—the shower! Let the shower run hot water and close the bathroom door so it will steam up. Sit in the bathroom and breathe deeply to inhale the steam. (If the heat starts to make you feel dizzy or overheated, take a break!)

    6. Take elderberry syrup.

    Are you a fan of natural methods of healing, as opposed to medication? Try taking elderberry syrup, which is a natural immune system booster and a great cold remedy. You can take a teaspoon of syrup every morning, add a few drops of elderberry extract to water or juice, or drink elderberry tea. The syrup, extract, and teas can be found at health food stores.

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    7. Eat raw honey.

    Honey is another natural immune system booster that soothes sore throats and contains anti-viral properties. Just like the elderberry syrup, you can either eat a spoonful of raw honey, or mix it in to a mug of warm water or tea.

    8. Eat garlic.

    Believe it or not, garlic has a lot of health benefits! It has antiviral, antibiotic, and antimicrobial properties. Like honey and elderberry syrup, garlic has been shown to relieve cold symptoms, shorten a cold’s duration, and naturally boost the immune system. You can take supplements, but garlic is most effective when it’s eaten raw. Crush up a clove and let it sit out for 15 minutes. This allows time for allicin, a potent anti-bacterial agent, to develop. If you really love garlic, you can eat it on its own at this point. If you need a little enticing, then mix it with honey or olive oil and put it on a cracker.

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      9. Eat a hot pepper.

      Think about it—your nose runs when you eat peppers, whether you’re sick of not, right? Chile peppers contain capsaicin, which is a compound that gives them a flavor kick and acts as a decongestant for your stuffy nose. If you don’t like hot peppers, try a more mild bell pepper. They don’t have capsaicin, but they have enough vitamin C to make it worth the bite.

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      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

      1. Exercise

      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

      2. Drink in Moderation

      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

      4. Watch Less Television

      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

      5. Eat Less Red Meat

      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

      6. Don’t Smoke

      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

      7. Socialize

      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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      9. Be Optimistic

      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

      10. Own a Pet

      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

      11. Drink Coffee

      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

      12. Eat Less

      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

      13. Meditate

      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

      15. Laugh Often

      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

      17. Cook Your Own Food

      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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      18. Eat Mushrooms

      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

      19. Floss

      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

      21. Have Sex

      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

      Reference

      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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