Hope you are all doing well! These past couple of days I have been a little sick with a cold (nothing too serious) but I am doing better now! I wanted to share some of my tips for fighting the common cold with the hope that it will be of some benefit to you!
Importance of Prevention:
There is a common saying that states that “prevention is better than the cure” and I honestly believe that this is absolutely true! There are a few simple steps that you can take to prevent the cold.
Always make sure to wash your hands with soap and water whenever you are near or come into contact with people who are sick. Also, whenever you touch anything in a public place make sure to wash your hands before the next meal and before washing your hands try to avoid touching your nose and mouth where germs can easily enter the body.
Obviously when you are outside it’s often hard to wash your hands on a regular basis so an alternative would be to carry a small pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
C may not be the best grade but it is a great vitamin (okay sorry for that horrible joke 🙂 ) Anyways, research shows that vitamin C is great for the immune system and can help prevent the cold from turning into something more serious like pneumonia.
I have to admit that I am a bit lazy and I just take a Vitamin C supplement to get my daily dose of this vitamin.
However, in order to stay safe, it’s always best to try to get nutrients from your diet and supplements should really be used as a last resort. When we think of foods high in vitamin C we usually think of the citrus family such as oranges and lemons. Although this is true there are many other foods high in vitamin C. These include cantaloupe, broccoli, red cabbage, green pepper, red pepper, kiwi and tomatoes just to name a few.
This might seem obvious but when it’s cold or even just a little chilly outside its best to stay safe by wearing that extra layer to ensure that you stay warm! Funny story: A dear relative was telling me that when her kids were young she always told them to wear warm clothes on the cooler days but at the time they didn’t take her seriously. However, just a few days ago her daughter called her up to say that she was watching the news and the new scientific research does support her claim!
Zinc is another nutrient that is great for strengthening the immune system. Research shows that zinc reduces the number of cytokines which can aggravate the body during a cold. Also, zinc increases the body’s white blood cell activity which is great for reducing the chance of getting a cold and other possible infections.
I do take a zinc supplement however, there are many foods high in zinc. Such foods include chicken, beef, beans (white beans, kidney beans and chickpeas), nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios) and whole grains.
Other Helpful Foods:
Homemade chicken soup can be especially helpful in easing the symptoms of the common cold. Chicken contains cysteine which is an amino acid that can help thin the mucus and prevent your cough from worsening. Other ingredients such as onions and garlic that are added to the soup are beneficial because they are anti-viral and chicken soup as a whole is anti-inflammatory
Just one teaspoon of honey can help alleviate the cold. Honey is an antioxidant and it helps boost the immune system and additionally it also acts as a cough suppressant by breaking up the thick mucus.
Warm tea can be especially soothing when you are suffering from a cold. A warm cup of tea with added spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger can help with decongestion and soreness that results from having a cold.
Despite your best efforts you will occasionally get a cold however, don’t fret! It’s best to know your body and try to recognize the first signs of a cold which can vary for each person. For me personally, a cold always starts off with a sore throat!
In my opinion the best strategy is to have always have some cold medication on hand and take it immediately when you notice any of the obvious cold symptoms. I honestly don’t know if any scientific research proves this tip but in my experience and the experiences of those around me this has been a very helpful strategy.
However, please be careful and take the medication exactly as directed on the package (or as described by your doctor). Also, please be aware that most cold medications contain acetaminophen which is a pain reliever and fever reducer. However, since this is a common ingredient make sure that you are not overdosing on this especially if you are taking more than one medication. Most experts recommend taking no more than 3,000 mg of acetaminophen a day.
These were just a few tips that have personally helped me and hopefully will help you too!