Even though we are winding down towards the end of cold and flu season, it’s always smart to be prepared to fight your cold. Here are some of the best tips to keep you feeling great, or cut down the severity and duration of your cold.
Start Before It Begins
When doctors or nurses even begin to feel a cold coming on, they rush to the drugstore. This feeling could come in the form of early symptoms like coughing, a dripping nose, or just sneezing a little bit more than usual. Over-the-counter products like Advil or a type of cough syrup can combat the symptoms before they truly take root. In the case of a runny nose, try taking a decongestant to shrink blood vessels and tissue in nasal cavities to allow easier breathing. It may be hard to completely stop a cold, but you can blunt the effects before they start.
Do yourself a favor this flu season and try to relax as much as possible. Stress is an enemy to the body, weakening your immune system and leaving you vulnerable to attack by a virus. Stress causes your body to produce high levels of cortisol that stay present in your bloodstream for a long period. Your body eventually becomes resistant to cortisol and ends up reducing your body’s ability to respond to inflammation and will leave you bedridden instead of doing the things you love. When the going gets tough, relax, or it will only get tougher.
Try Salt Water
In the case of a sore throat, try gargling salt water to shorten the negative effects. Gargling salt water is a natural remedy that has been recommended for dozens of years. The salt in the salt water overloads the infected cells and causes them to overload and burst, ensuring that they will be quickly eradicated. This remedy has the benefit of being ultra cheap and unbelievably simple to do, as almost everyone has a supply of salt and water in their homes.
Eating healthy will protect you from a wide variety of illnesses, including the common cold because eating healthy supplies you with the foundation for a healthy immune system. Your immune system is only as good as the nutrients you feed it. By fueling your body with nutrients such as vitamins A and C, you will be promoting your immune system to keep you full of energy and free of sickness. Healthy eating can be achieved by keeping track of your calories and eating a balanced amount of veggies, fish, lean protein, and fruit.
Take ZincRelated: Signs You May Have a Zinc Deficiency
Taking a zinc supplement after you first encounter early symptoms of a cold could be the difference between a week of misery or short time of slight discomfort. Taking zinc orally through the form of a pill, throat lozenges, or cough syrup within 24 hours of catching a cold is said to reduce the overall length of the illness. Zinc can also reduce the severity of the cold, allowing you to have a clear mind and enough energy to continue doing your tasks until it all blows over.
Drink More Water
A well-hydrated body is a base for a truly healthy body. While staying hydrated will not ultimately prevent you from catching a cold, it will make dealing with it much easier. Staying hydrated will keep your throat lubricated enough to reduce the amount of pain involved with having a sore throat and keep your throat from becoming scratchy or hard to swallow due to dryness. An adequate amount of hydration will also help to unclog mucus in your nasal cavity, which will make it easier to blow out and get rid of.
Take a Probiotic
Probiotics are a type of good bacteria that live in your stomach, and surprisingly help it perform the tasks that need to be done. Probiotics keep your digestive system running smoothly and make sure that things do not get “stuck” in their process. Probiotics can also help clear out your respiratory system, making it easier to breathe in the event of a cold. Probiotics can be found in many types of food including kimchi, greek yogurt, and sauerkraut. If you do not like any of the previously mentioned foods, you can try taking a supplement instead.
Get Vitamin D in Your SystemRelated: Symptoms and Risk Factors of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a huge part of staying healthy and keeping your immune system working at top efficiency. Some people theorize that people catch colds more often in the winter because they are not exposed to the sun as much as they would be in other seasons of the year, meaning that they are not naturally producing as much vitamin D as they should. Keeping a healthy intake of vitamin D will allow your immune system to handle the cold virus quickly, and get you back on your feet as fast as possible.