Do You Have a Cold or the Flu? Here’s How to Find Out

Each year Americans could be hit with an estimated 1 billion colds and 8% of us will get slammed with the flu. That’s a whole lot of cough drops, tissues and sick days.

No worries: We’ve got you covered with the info you need to feel better fast, including doctor-approved natural remedies and products that will make riding out symptoms easier — as well as facts about staying one step ahead of germs so these viruses will know better than to mess with you again.

The first thing is first though, do you have a cold or the flu?

Cold symptoms:

Things typically start with a scratchy throat or runny nose and gradually get worse. Symptoms tend to be mild and include sneezing, nasal congestion, a sore throat, slightly swollen glands, and coughing.

Treatment: Take it easy, rest up and stay hydrated. Pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can provide temporary relief. A cold may last 10 days, but you’re less contagious as soon as you start to feel better.

Flu symptoms:

It hits you fast: You may feel feverish in the afternoon, but have full-body aches by dinner-time. You have all the joy of cold symptoms plus a fever over 100°F, headache, fatigue, chills, and fun stuff like vomiting and diarrhea.

Treatment: You’ll probably need to stay put for three to seven days. Ask your doctor if she recommends Tamiflu, an antiviral prescription. Although you may be tired, you can start to resume your routine when the fever disappears.

What are some good natural remedies to soothe cold and flu symptoms?

There’s an urban legend that drinking hot liquids can prevent you from catching a cold because they send germs into your stomach to die a horrible acidic death. But the fact is hot liquids themselves won’t flush germs out of your system, says Glenn Wortmann, M.D., director of infectious diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.

Read more at Good House Keeping

Can Your Diet Save The Planet?

Climate change and its impact on our food system is a complicated issue, but here are a few things at the crux of it. Extreme weather can delay the planting of certain crops, thereby shortening the time during which food is grown. Weather patterns can also make pests more difficult to control, and therefore, they destroy more of the food that’s grown. The nutrition quality of food is also at stake, meaning that certain crops may supply reduced amounts of vitamins and minerals.

If the idea of leaving our planet and future generations better off isn’t enough to sway you to make some dietary changes, here are some planet-friendly eating practices that will leave you better off, too.

Rely on more plants for protein

Pulses — the term for plant-based proteins, like beans, lentils, and peas — are an incredibly sustainable source of protein. They require less nitrogen fertilizer compared to other crops, and therefore, have a lower carbon footprint. They also require less water to grow, and many types of pulses can grow in dry environments.

They’re not just good for the planet — they’re good for your body, too. Studies suggest that when people replace some of the meat on their menus for these plant-based powerhouses, it has a positive impact on longevity, reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, promotes a healthier weight, and may cause a healthy shift in your gut bacteria.

Eat less meat

You knew this was coming! Both this report and one released earlier this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, suggest that cutting way down on meat consumption is better for the planet (not to mention your own health). No one’s suggesting you become a vegan or vegetarian (though that can be beneficial), but you can make a dramatic impact by beginning to scale back. Beef and lamb are associated with particularly high carbon emissions, so maybe begin your journey there.

The truth is, while you need protein and the nutrients found in beef and other animal products, you don’t need to get them from those foods, and in fact, we’re collectively better off getting them from plant-based sources. Instead of eating an animal-based protein at each meal, try one plant-based protein meal a day or perhaps, try a meatless day each week — maybe on a Monday when you’re more likely to be in tune with your health. In addition to foods from the pulse family, incorporate single-ingredient whole grains (like quinoa, oats, and brown rice) as well as nuts and seeds into menus. The USDA offers many suggestions for mixing up your protein options with more plants.

Continue reading at NBC News

Is Emotional Intelligence Key to Improving Health & Wellness?

In today’s fast-paced world, we’ve started to see a major focus on health and wellness in the last few years. That makes sense since many people sit at a desk for eight hours a day—or longer.

Work-life balance is a struggle for many people in our 24/7 work culture and the stress of constantly focusing on our professional lives is leading to burnout, health problems, and other issues.

So what can be done? Some people turn to yoga and meditation, fitting in sessions before they head into the office. Others turn off electronic devices at night or keep to a strict sleep schedule.

In order to make meaningful changes for our health and well-being, we may need to turn to an unexpected facet of our personality: our emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Introduced as a concept in the 1990s, the idea of emotional intelligence is a counterpoint to the traditional IQ measurement of intelligence. While IQ is based on logic and analytical problem-solving, emotional intelligence or EQ is about one’s ability to self-regulate, empathize, and work with others.

A person’s EQ is extremely important in all areas of their professional and personal lives and has been shown to be more important than IQ in determining workplace success.

How Emotional Intelligence Can Promote Healthy Balance

Emotional intelligence can tell you when you need to step back and take a break, but it can also help you maintain healthy habits like “unplugging” every night and control stress at work. Studies show that high levels of EQ have a relationship to wellness in the nursing work environment, and many people intuitively use these skills to improve their well-being both at work and at home.

In the workplace, wellness initiatives like mindfulness practices, mental health breaks, and encouraging employees to unplug are helping people to live more balanced lives. However, employees need to have the EQ to recognize when they need to make their wellness a priority.

Employers can offer encouragement and resources, but ultimately each person needs to recognize what they need and figure out how best to regulate their mood and emotions.

Continue reading at Thrive Global