"Nature alone can cure disease. Doctors cannot heal. They can only direct the sufferer back to the pathways of health. Nature alone can create, and healing is re-creation." - William S. Sadler
Last week I got sick. It was that sick where my throat felt like razor blades one day, to hacking and coughing by the end of the week with headaches. Getting sick is never fun, but there are just oh-so-many lessons to be learned when we are forced to slow down and take care of ourselves (which are completely other blog topics all together) Over the years of being a nutritionist I now have my go-to's to support my immune system through the occasional cold. As the doctors (and moms) always repeat: "get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids." It's the absolute best advice, but it's a little vague, so let's explore it.
Resting includes both mental/emotional and physical. It's a time for us to hand over all energy stores for our immune system to use to help us get better. Resting is not parking ourselves in front of our computer to catch up on some work or read the news. Mentally, this is not rest and as our stress levels start to rise, it's no longer physical rest either. Taking the dog for a walk or running errands because you've now taken the day off work is not rest either. Walking the dog may be a nice rest mentally, but physically we need to slow down. Good quality rest includes:
Liquids help flush the sickness out of our body. As or immune system fights and kills off the "invader", we need to eliminate them as quickly as possible. Liquids to drink plenty of do not include soda or alcohol. These aren't easy on the body at the best of times so drinking them when we're sick doesn't help at all, in fact they will most likely make us worse.
Drinking milk while we're sick is also not a good idea. (aside from putting it on your oatmeal and a dollop in your coffee, I don't recommend drinking milk at the healthiest of times- unless you can get it raw) Milk and all dairy are very mucus forming and there is already enough mucus being formed naturally to help us expel our sickness.
The biggest misconception when it comes to liquids is that fruit juice is good for us and therefore we drink plenty of it. Fruit juice whether it's processed or fresh is full of sugar, and even though much of it is fructose, it still affects our blood sugar levels in a negative way. Fruit juice is missing one component that helps to control the release of sugar into our bloodstream, and that is fibre. When we remove the fibre (the bulk of the whole fruit), the sugar rushes into our blood causing a spike in blood-sugar, which then triggers a HUGE release of insulin; insulin soaks up all of the sugar, resulting in a sugar crash. It's during this crash that our immune system is compromised, and when we're sick, that's the last thing we need. So keep fruit juice to a minimum.
In addition to water, I make and drink plenty of these three staple liquids while I'm sick:
Eucalyptus tea is best sipped in the morning.
Not only are these fluids great to drink when we're sick, they're also great preventative tools. So if there is someone else in the house who is sick, or someone at work is sick or it's just that nasty time of year, have these pre-made and easily accessible to stay healthy!
Mom and doctor were right about rest and liquids, they just needed to be a little more specific......
Jana Roy RHN RYT