When I was young the worst part of getting sick was having to drink water. My mom would give me a quota with a specific number of glasses of water I was required to drink. I would wait until it was almost time for her to get home and I would try to down just enough glasses of water to be in the ballpark of my quota.
Nowadays I don’t have to force myself to drink water but it is something I struggle with doing even when I am not sick. With so many of us being dehydrated on a good day you will find that hydration plays an even more important role when we are trying to beat a cold so a lot of the tips focus on hydration.
Here are 11 gut health tips to help beat the cold.
Bring in some bone broth.
Chicken soup is good for the soul and a cold. If you feel like you are on the edge of coming down with something start adding in some bone broth to your daily routine. Make sure to check out my post on bone broth for leaky gut on even more info about bone broth.
2. Magic mineral broth.
We’ve all heard of bone broth but have you heard of magic mineral broth? Magic mineral broth is literally a broth that is chock full of minerals that we are often lacking in our diet. The broth is completely vegetarian and made with a specific set of veggies (that aren’t hard to find) which lend the broth all the minerals you need. Sip on this when you are sick and don’t feel like eating much but still want to get in some nutrition or sip on it throughout the cold season as a preventive measure. Check out the recipe on how to make magic mineral broth here.
3. Add honey and a squeeze of lemon to your tea.
Warm tea, or even warm water, is soothing and can be helpful when you are feeling that tickle in the back of the throat. Stick with a green or white tea as black tea can be dehydrating. Ginger tea can also be an option and ginger can be helpful for soothing an upset stomach (keep in mind that not everyone agrees with ginger).
4. Add chia seeds to warm drinks.
Add a teaspoon of chia seeds and to warm tea or water and let the seeds gel. Make sure to give your drink a good stir as the chia seeds swell so the seeds don’t get all stuck together. The chia seeds feel especially soothing on your throat and they give you a little boost of fiber.
5. Juice carrot and apples.
Usually when I feel a cold coming I will know my diet has been lacking in some vitamins (translate: I haven’t been eating a lot of fruits/veggies). So when I feel a cold coming on I will grab the two things I always have in my fridge – carrots and apples. Blend 2 carrots and half of an apple with water until smooth. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A which plays a crucial role in immune health. The apple brings a little sweetness and even more vitamins. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for some healthy fats that will aid the absorption of Vitamin A.
6. Add fire cider to your daily routine.
Try taking a shot of fire cider at the start of your day to clear your mind and your sinuses. Fire cider is a traditional tonic that is made with some pungent ingredients like horseradish, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Be mindful of how this tonic might affect your gut as some of the ingredients are common foods that don’t always agree with people’s guts (i.e garlic). You can see the recipe and video of how to make it here.
7. Rest, rest, and rest some more.
When you feel a cold coming on now is the time more than ever to take it easy and relax. Go to bed early and give your body the rest it needs to recover.
8. Try making a honey onion syrup.
Another traditional remedy you can bring in is a syrup made of honey and onions. This mixture is supposed to be a natural way to help with coughs and colds. Slice raw onions and simmer it with some honey on the stovetop. You just take a spoonful of the syrup and eat. You can see the recipe and video of how to make it here.
9. Give yourself permission to take it easy.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to take it easy. This one is probably hard to do especially if you have 101 things to do but needed just as much as resting.
10. Gargle with saltwater.
This tip probably isn’t very new or innovative but it’s a good one. Gargling with salt water can help a sore throat and can be especially helpful if you are feeling congested; the salt will help dry out the mucus.
11. Consider a Vitamin C supplement.
There are a variety of supplements that you can also be helpful to beat a cold. Vitamin C could potentially be helpful for reducing the severity of cold symptoms if you take right when you feel like you might be coming down with something. There are also other supplements that could potentially help like zinc and echinacea.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.