After moving to the East Coast from the West Coast in December 2017, I was making my first trip back since then. I spent a week out in California, visiting family and friends and enjoying food from my favorite places. I brought back a few souvenirs for my fiance and his family but one thing I was not planning on bringing back was an illness. The day I flew home, I ended up with an upper respiratory infection. It knocked me out for several days, causing me to miss 3 days of work at my regular job. I am just now healing up when it’s been 2 weeks!
In those days I was in bed, it made me realize that I am not normally sick during the year except for summer. Autumn and winter are more often known as being cold season, but summer is a lesser known time to catch illness. People take this time to travel and where there’s travel, there are germs. Airplanes are infamous for germs, since passengers are in an enclosed space with a limited amount of air that’s circulating out. Illnesses can go anywhere and strike at any time. They never go on vacation. It’s been said that being sick in the summer is more dangerous due to the heat, which allows for bacteria or viruses to grow at a rapid rate.
With the summer winding down and the cold and flu season nearly here, now is a good time to give you some tips to ensure you are well during the most extreme temperatures.
How do you fight illness in the summertime? Liquids! The doctor always gives the order to drink more fluids when you are sick, and the summer is no exception. But if you have a cold or an upper respiratory infection, the last thing you want is a hot drink while sweltering in a 101 degree temperature both internally and externally. It is still best to have a hot cup of tea or bowl of broth because it will allow any mucus to break up. Cold drinks are best avoided, especially when you have a sore throat, as it will only irritate it more.
It is best to drink herbal tea as caffeine will likely dehydrate you. For some good teas to drink during illness, it is said that ginger tea is very good when you are sick since ginger is a spicy root. The spiciness could help get the nose running and help with nausea if drunk early on. Not sure which ginger tea is right for you? Try Twinings Ginger with Lemon or Sunny Orange from Stash. Peppermint tea is also another good tea for an illness. It has been said to help fight fever and reduce bloating.
You were probably told NOT to consume dairy products if have something like the cold or a more severe upper respiratory infection. Despite the rumor, studies have shown that milk does not increase mucus production when you are sick.
The good news is that illness is preventable. Washing your hands with warm water and soap are well-known for combating germs. Cover your mouth and nose when you are sneezing or coughing, and if you do not have a tissue to cough or sneeze into, try coughing into your arm (also known as the Vampire Cough). Cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces that are touched and used very often also help. You can also get your flu shot during flu season, which should help in having a pleasant winter. Most importantly, if you do end up getting sick, PLEASE stay home (except to see the doctor), and get some rest!