As summer winds down, itís time to think about boosting your immune system and practicing simple remedies that will keep colds at bay. Start by gargling away colds.
Gargling with water
Gargling with water can reduce your risk of catching colds this winter. Individuals who practiced this simple and free remedy at least three times a day cut their upper respiratory tract infections by 40 percent over people who didnít, according to a study.
Gargling works to help you get over colds faster too. Switch to warm salt water as salt is a natural antiseptic that will help wash away bacteria.
Sunflower seeds and Vitamin E
Like snacking on sunflower seeds? Donít feel guilty about it. Sunflower seeds can boost your immune system and help you avoid colds and flu.
Two tablespoons of sunflower seeds give you more than a third of your daily requirement of vitamin E, an immune-system booster. Vitamin E helps you fight off flu and colds by increasing your production of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that counters infections.
Try tossing some sunflower seeds on salads or oatmeal, or in tortilla wraps. Other Vitamin E powerhouses to try are almonds, wheat germ, hazelnuts and peanuts.
Get a hearty dose of vitamin E with this Kale, Gala Apple, Jicama and Sunflower Seed Salad.
2 cups very thinly sliced kale or a mixture of kale and chard
1 gala apple chopped
Ĺ cup chopped jicama
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Ĺ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heaping ľ cup toasted or raw sunflower seeds + 2-4 T. more for garnish
1 T. olive oil
Juice of one lime
2 tsp. agave nectar or honey
Sea salt to taste
Place the chopped greens, apple, jicama, onions and cilantro in a salad bowl. Toss ingredients and set aside.
In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. You may need to add 1-2 T. water to get a pourable consistency.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Sprinkle additional sunflower seeds on top. Chill the salad in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.