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Cold Season

As we head into cold season and with COVID still around, here are some strategies I have employed for years to support my chances of staying well. This is certainly not medical advice, but I have found these strategies help me.

  1. Rest: Getting ample rest is crucial for your body to recuperate and fight off the infection. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to allow your immune system to function optimally.

  2. Hydration: Staying hydrated helps thin mucus and loosen congestion, making it easier to clear your airways. Drink plenty of fluids, including water, clear broth, or warm lemon water or herb tea. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine, which can dehydrate you further.

  3. Humidify The Air: Dry air can worsen congestion and irritation. Use a humidifier or take a hot shower to add moisture to the air, which can help loosen mucus and make it easier to breathe.

  4. Zinc Lozenges: Some studies suggest that zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of a cold, especially if taken within 24-48 hours of symptom onset. (There are people who are zinc "super-tasters" who will have their sense of taste affected if they have zinc lozenges. If this is you, you will notice after you dissolve a zinc lozenge in your mouth everything will taste like zinc for the next few hours.)

  5. Vitamin C: While the evidence is mixed, some studies suggest that vitamin C may reduce the severity and duration of a cold. Aim to consume the recommended daily intake of vitamin C (90 mg for men and 75 mg for women) through fruits, vegetables, or supplements.

  6. Probiotics: Probiotics help support a healthy immune system and may reduce the frequency and severity of colds. Consider incorporating probiotic-rich foods like miso, yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut/ kimchi into your diet.

Best Diet Strategies to help the immune system fight off viruses:

  1. Avoid all highly processed foods. Avoid foods with added sugars. Avoid foods with inflammatory fats.

  2. Drink plenty of water and teas.

  3. Choose meals that are rich in aromatics herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, etc. These are all anti-viral.

  4. Include garlic, ginger and scallions with soups and vegetables

  5. Eat plenty of clean protein. Choosing sources with anti-inflammatory qualities to support your immune system.

Something else I do, which I am not recommending except only to proceed at your own risk and only if your stomach is willing, a teaspoon or 2 of raw chopped garlic, swallowed like a pill with water without chewing, followed by a hot cup of peppermint tea, does wonders in my system to decongest and create an anti-viral inner steam bath for the lungs and sinuses.

Another classic food recipe to keep cold symptoms at bay and to support the immune system is a soothing Garlic Ginger Miso Soup: Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 inch fresh ginger, grated 2 tablespoons miso paste 4 cups vegetable broth 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (such as carrots, celery, or onions) 1/4 cup cooked noodles (such as soba, ramen, or udon) 1 teaspoon sesame oil Salt and pepper to taste Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

  2. Add the broth and vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

  3. Stir in the miso paste and cook for another minute, until it is well blended.

  4. Stir in the noodles and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

This soup is a great way to boost your immune system and soothe a sore throat. The garlic, ginger, and miso all have anti-viral properties, while the vegetables and noodles provide essential nutrients.

Make sure to take care of yourself this season and keep your loved ones healthy. As the season progresses, LLVG will continue to share more warm recipes and health tips. In gratitude, LLVG

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