5 Healthy Home Remedies for Colds

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

If you’re feeling, sneezy, achy and congested, these five recipes can offer relief (via Care2.com):

  1. For congestion: cayenne pepper drink. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then add one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon maple syrup, three-fourths to one teaspoon dried cayenne pepper (depending on your ability to handle heat), and one to two tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix ingredients together well, and let them heat up, breathing in the steam as they do so. Take the kettle off the heat, and drink when it’s cool enough. Words to the wise: this is NOT a sipping drink, so wait for it to get cool enough that you can down it in a few gulps.
  2. For a sore throat or post-nasal drip: salt water gargle. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then stir in one-half teaspoon sea salt. When the mixture is cool enough, gargle about one tablespoon of it. Repeat every one to two hours.Continue Reading …
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5 Sodium-Packed Snacks to Avoid

It may not taste salty, but your morning croissant contains about 400 mg of sodium. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sodium hides in many places in the American diet, and eating too much can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and dementia. To keep your sodium intake in check, read our recent post on salt and avoid these five surprisingly salt-packed snacks (via Shape.com):

  1. Regular cottage cheese. Though it’s a staple diet food and is rich in calcium and protein, cottage cheese can also come with a heaping dose of salt, with up to 900 mg per cup. Instead, look for low-sodium versions or better yet, opt for plain yogurt (about 150 mg of sodium).
  2. Bread, bagels and croissants. They may not taste salty, but flaky pastries like croissants contain about 400 mg of sodium each. Even bread can contain a fair amount of sodium, at about 150 mg per slice. That’s about the same amount as a serving of potato chips, but bread doesn’t taste as salty because the salt is baked into the bread instead of added to the surface. Some larger bagels contain as much as 700 mg of sodium.Continue Reading …
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How to Eat Less Salt

Yikes! Just one teaspoon of table salt contains 2,325 mg of salt — 25 mg more than the recommended daily amount. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

In small amounts, sodium is essential to your body. It helps transmit nerve pulses, controls the amount of fluid in your body, and helps your muscles to expand and contract. But the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium every day — about 1.5 times the recommended daily amount of 2,300 mg. (And, just one teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,325 mg.) Here’s how to cut back (via Mayo Clinic):

  1. Know where sodium comes from. Most Americans get the majority of their sodium from processed and prepared foods like pizza, cold cuts, cheeses, soups and fast foods. But some foods, like vegetables, dairy products, meat and shellfish, contain sodium naturally. Recipes often call for added table salt. Finally, many condiments contain salt. One tablespoon of soy sauce, for example, contains about 1,000 mg of sodium.
  2. Don’t rely on your taste buds. Foods that don’t taste salty can still have high sodium contents. For example, one 4-inch oat bran bagel contains 532 mg of sodium.Continue Reading …
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