What do you do if you have a cold and wish to avoid sugar? Most, in fact, almost all over-the-counter cold remedies contain sugar, some contain a lot of sugar. Is there any point in taking a cold-remedy that only serves to suppress your immune system?
I’ve had a winter cold for the last few days, I’ve had a similar cold every winter for the last few years and I really feel as though I am recovering much more quickly this year than usual. My cold is usually the slight sore throat, slight phlegmy cough, a few aches, a little fever and heavy on the sniffling and sneezing variety and this year is no different.
I’ve never been a fan of Lemsips Hot Drink because I always found them to be nauseatingly sweet however I often would use something like Potter’s cough remedy from the Health Food Store. Sometimes I would also take Echinacea or bee pollen throat lozenges. Generally I would also go for hot water, lemon juice and a big spoonful of honey as a soothing drink. All of these remedies, whether homemade or store bought, contain quite a bit of sugar in one form or another.
How to avoid sugary remedies
This time, because I am avoiding sugars, I had to rethink my cold strategy. I know now that sugar has a compromising effect on our immune system so I would not make an exception to my no-sugar rule and take that cough mixture or lozenge. There’s an interesting article at Mark’s Daily Apple on sugar suppressing the immune system.
I am making sure to get enough sleep, having luxurious sleep-ins in the morning as well as going to bed early. The silk under-vests have come out of the winter wardrobe, it hadn’t really been cold enough here until this week to merit wearing the thermals. I bought some ginger and also a box of Ginger and Lemon Herbal Teabags. The herbal tea is quite tasty and the addition of a few slices of freshly cut ginger adds a little bite and some soothing heat.
Because I was having some allergic rhinitis trouble before the cold came on I was already taking a supplement called Beta Glucans Immune Complex which contains vit C, zinc, beta glucans, selenium and vit D3. I usually avoid taking supplements like this as I have haemochromatosis and I don’t need the help given by vit C to absorb iron – my body already has more than enough iron. I make an exception though when I have a cold and always take some vit C then.
I love to learn new food facts
What I didn’t know in previous years however is that the sugar I would consume in my honey drinks, cough mixture and lozenges would prevent the vit C from working effectively. In the 1970s it was discovered that white blood cells need vit C in order to gobble up viruses and bacteria. Apparently sugar gets in the way of this happening. This article here – Sugar’s Effect On You Health explains this very well.
I had been thinking that I was recovering well despite not taking the usual cold remedies – turns out that I am recovering well because I haven’t taken the usual remedies.