Snuggling in your bed, drinking a cup of coffee and nibbling on some fried snacks is probably the most ideal way to spend lazy and gloomy days in winter. Sadly, with this weather comes the fear of becoming prone to infections; thanks to a weakened immunity system. During winters, you are in for an increased risk of cold and cough or flu. Did you know your diet may also have a role in aggravating your condition? If you haven't known this already, we can tell you about some foods that can potentially contribute to excessive cold and cough. However, let's first see what happens when you suffer from cold.You get cold when a virus attaches to the lining of your nose and throat. The immunity system sends white blood cells to fight against these viruses, but tends to fail, considering they are weak enough to lose out. Your nose and throat then gets inflamed and makes a lot of mucus. With so much energy lost in fighting the cold virus, you are left feeling fatigued and miserable. A weak immunity system and virus can completely get you down. We tell you foods that may invite more problems than solving them.
1. Dairy Products
While you may have heard everything good about dairy products, there is a chance that they may be sneakily increasing your cold, causing your body to produce more mucus. Do not completely give up on dairy as it is a good source of protein and vitamin D that can help your body fight against infection. Just ensure limited intake in order to avoid causing excessive mucus.
2. Caffeine Intake
Caffeine loaded foods and drinks like coffee, tea and soft drinks are all diuretics that tend to dehydrate your body and this can lead to much thicker mucus, encouraging cold and cough and a weaker immunity. Avoid caffeinated drinks as much as you can and stay healthy.
3. Fried Foods
Fried junk food is not just responsible for adding bulk to your waistline, but may also become a serious cause of cold and cough in your system. The fats and oils present in the fatty foods, which are derived from animal products like butter, lard and omega-6 fatty acids may cause you to produce mucus, further aggravating cold and flu. Stick to healthier foods and focus on improving your immunity system than making it worse.
4. Histamine Dense Foods
Histamines are chemicals that your immune system makes. They help your body get rid of something that's not doing any good to you, for instance, allergens. They alert you when you have ingested something that may be allergic to you. So if you have cold or any allergy, histamines prompt thin walls to make more mucus, which can result in mucus formation. You can get a runny or a stuffy nose. There are foods that naturally high in histamines, which can contribute to the problem and make it worse. Avoid avocados, mushrooms, strawberries, dry fruits, alcohol, yogurt, vinegar and fermented foods.
Alcohol tends to encourage inflammation; further weakening your white blood cells which make it harder for your body to heal. So it is better to skip drinking alcohol that will only worsen your immunity system.
Just like alcohol, sugar can too cause serious inflammation and weaken your immunity system making your cold and cough worse. Sweets may be comforting, but try and avoid as much as you can. You don't want to stay sick while others enjoy their share of sweets.
Enjoy winters without getting sick just by tweaking your diet a little. Stay healthy!
Dry cough is one of the most common conditions. It is a reflex action that clears your airway of irritants and mucus. However, dry cough, also known as non-productive cough, doesn't produce phlegm or mucus. An ongoing dry cough can be irritating and may impact your day-to-day life. Most dry coughs are caused by a reaction to an environmental allergen, pollutant or toxin, all of which is expelled by the body from the respiratory system by coughing it out. Some natural home treatments can reduce the frequency of coughing and can soothe throat soreness and irritation. One of the best home remedies is drinking tulsi tea every day. Tulsi has long been known to have innumerable medicinal benefits, also making it an effective and safe natural remedy for cough.
According to Parmeet Kaur, Senior Dietician, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, "Just add 5-7 tulsi leaves to 300-500 ml of water for few minutes. Keep it to cool and then drink the water infused with tulsi leaves. To make it more effective add few spices such as cardamom, ginger, black pepper and cloves to make a herbal concoction. Drink daily for preventing dark circles, acne, rashes and other skin problems.Moreover, it has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical and physical stress and is rich in nutrients such as Vitamin K."Common Causes Of Dry Cough
Here are a few causes of dry cough that you should be aware of:
1. Asthma is a condition in which your airways swell and become narrow. Coughing is one of the most prominent symptoms of asthma; therefore, one has to be extremely wary of the effects it can cause.
2.Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a type of chronic acid reflux. It generally happens when stomach acid flows back up into your oesophagus that connects your mouth to your stomach. Excessive stomach acid may irritate your oesophagus and triggers your cough reflex.
3. Viral infection; when you get infected with one of the many viruses that causes common cold, which also includes coughing. However, the post-cold coughs usually linger long after the other symptoms have improved. Dry cough is due to the result of irritation in your airway, which is often sensitive after a viral illness.
4. Environmental irritants; these generally irritate your airways, including smoke, pollution, dust, mold and pollen. Chemical particles also tend to cause a dry cough.
5.Smoking can also be one of the causes of dry cough. The direct inhalation of toxins present in cigarettes can cause such a condition. The toxins settled in lungs cause inflamed reaction and body expels them through coughing.
6. Bronchitis; acute bronchitis often develops three to four days after a cold or flu. It may start with a dry cough and if it prolongs, the coughing spells may bring up mucus.
One Of The Best Solutions: Tulsi Tea
Tulsi is a member of the mint family and its traditional medicinal uses are many, particularly in Ayurvedic tradition. Holy basil, or tulsi, leaves are widely used to prepare desi concoctions to treat microbial infections and boost immunity. It does not only possess antiseptic and analgesic properties that help cure many problems including dry cough, but a tea made using with tulsi leaves relieves allergic bronchitis, asthma and other lung diseases in no time. It also has immunomodulatory (to enhance immunity) and antitussive (relieves cough) properties that provide relief in the respiratory system. In fact, it has certain oils that may clear the congestion.
How To Prepare Tulsi Tea At Home?
- Holy basil, or tulsi, is an easy herb to grow at home. So, pick your fresh produce and wash it thoroughly. Follow these steps to prepare tulsi tea at home.
- In a pan, add one cup of water and five to seven tulsi leaves. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes on low flame. Cover the pan and let the leaves infuse in water.
- Switch off the gas stove and allow the solution to cool down. Strain the extract and drink warm to cure dry cough.
- In fact, you can add other healing ingredients like cardamom, ginger, black pepper and even honey to this concoction. Drink it daily to get some relief.
You can also mix honey with fresh tulsi leaves and take it twice daily to reap maximum benefits. No matter what the cause of dry cough may be, tulsi tea may come to your rescue.
Licking rich and thick honey from the spoon is indeed blissful and heavenly. But did you know that there are numerous health benefits of consuming this golden delight? So, if you like honey, don't think twice and make a bold move to replace the sugar with honey owing to the benefits it comes with. Not only it is natural to form of sugar, also because it can do wonder to your daily diet. Let us look at some of the benefits:
For starters, honey can be stored for months without getting spoilt and you never need to worry about its shelf life. Here are the top unusual health benefits of honey:
Alleviate allergy symptoms: Do you suffer from a running nose and itchy eyes when the allergy season hits? Honey’s natural anti-inflammatory agents produce antibodies that will build up a great defense against allergy over time.
Boosts your energy: Consume honey early in the morning and experience a great way to start off your day with full energy. The glucose present in the honey gives you a quick boost to get you moving up and about.
Good for memory: Honey contains antioxidants as well, which can help to promote great brain function. It also helps the brain to absorb calcium, which improves the memory function as well.
Suppresses cough: Honey is a great cough remedy that is power-packed with great health benefits. It soothes the throat, by calming down the nerve endings that protect the throat. So the next time you have a fussy cough, try honey instead of over-the-counter cough syrups that can be harsh on your immune system.
Sleep well: Having sleep problems? Honey induces serotonin neurotransmitter that helps your body to sleep. Wind down with a teaspoon of honey, add it to your drink like warm tea and calm down your body to get into the sleep mode.
Helps with dandruff: Have an itchy scalp with excessive dandruff? Apply a diluted solution of honey to your scalp, leave it on for few hours and your scalp will feel healthy in no time. The anti-fungal properties available in honey will alleviate dandruff issues and also act as a great moisturizer for the hair.
Treats wounds and burns: A wonderful first aid for wounds, scrapes or burns, honey’s antibiotic nature helps to fight off further infection. One type of honey called Manuka honey is well-known as a great treatment for wounds and burns.
Hangovers: Waking up with a hangover is one of the worst feelings, isn’t it? Honey helps your liver speed up the removal of toxins from your body. So all the toxins that you have consumed with alcohol, will be flushed out with the help of honey.
Prevent cancer: Honey has carcinogen preventing properties that can help to fight cancer. It is a superfood that has anti-metastatic properties to prevent tumors and cancers.
Boosts the immune system: Regular consumption of honey that has antibacterial and antioxidant agents will cleanse your body and improve better immunity.