Let’s face it: the symptoms of the common cold are downright annoying, and even those who follow a healthy diet and lifestyle are susceptible to its clutches when the weather turns cold and dark.
The common cold is caused by a virus that infects the upper respiratory tract, leading to a host of uncomfortable symptoms such as coughing, congestion, sore throats, exhaustion, runny noses, and headaches. Some colds are minor and others knock us off our feet, affecting our daily activities like eating, sleeping, exercising, and going to work. When we have a cold our family members often become entangled in it too, either as caregivers or they also get infected and share in our misery.
The good news about common colds is we can take plenty of steps to prevent them from happening, or at the very least, shorten their duration once they hit us.
Consume Immune-Boosting Foods
Certain immune-boosting foods can be used to help prevent and cold bugs. Some excellent cold-fighting foods are:
• Garlic contains anti-viral qualities due to the medicinal properties of the compound allicin.
• Broccoli sources its immune-boosting elements from a group of molecules called glucosinolates.
• Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of zinc, a mineral that optimizes the immune system and reduces the severity of cold symptoms. One quarter cup of pumpkin seeds will provide you with 2.5 mg of zinc.
• Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium, an antioxidant that assists the immune system by helping our bodies fight free radicals. Nuts and seeds are also high in protein, an essential macronutrient that produces antibodies.
• Foods that are rich in vitamin A – winter squash, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, sweet potatoes – activate our immune systems, and they help us synthesize T and B cells.
• Bone broth is rich in nutrients such as the amino acids glycine and proline, as well as trace minerals. Scientists studying chicken soup at the University of Nebraska Medical Center discovered these nutrients work together synergistically to reduce inflammation in the upper respiratory tract and boost the immune system. Bone broth’s high content of gelatin, calcium, magnesium, chondroitin, and glucosamine aids digestion, nourishes our bones and joints, and supports the nervous system.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Cold viruses can cling to your hands and face, as well as inanimate objects. Ensure you wash your hands after coughing or blowing your nose, and wipe down heavily trafficked areas in your home like bathroom faucets, kitchen surfaces, doorknobs, keyboards, or television remotes to prevent germs from spreading. Don’t get too close to other family members either: that means avoid kissing or hugging until the virus has run its course.
Rest and Reduce Stress
The immune system functions better when it is ruled by the parasympathic nervous system, which is the division in play when our bodies are at rest. Compounds that enhance the immune system are also released when we’re sleeping, so slip on a pair of comfy pyjamas and haul yourself into bed!
Avoid Sugar and Alcohol
Both sugar and alcohol impair immune system function, so it’s best to avoid these when you’re feeling sick.
Take a Cold-Fighting Supplement
A supplement such as echinacea can help stimulate the immune system. Natural Factors Quick-Blast combines ECHINAMIDE® – a unique, patented echinacea formula – with eucalyptus, peppermint, honey and lemon, which brings immediate relief to sore throats and sinus congestion.
Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs for immune support, but not all echinacea qualifies to be in the ECHINAMIDE formula. Natural Factors grows and harvests the world’s finest echinacea on our own organic farms in British Columbia. This field-to-shelf approach assures echinacea purity and potency.
ECHINAMIDE uses a patented extraction method to guarantee consistent levels of the three key active components that are responsible for echinacea’s effectiveness: alkylamides, cichoric acid, and polysaccharides. These compounds are the foundation of ECHINAMIDE’s ability to reduce the length and severity of viral infections.
Quick-Blast liquid-gel soft chews work instantly to soothe sore throats and relieve sinus congestion, plus, when taken as directed, they help shorten the duration of respiratory infections such as the common cold. This product is designed for those ages 15 and older, but please read the label as this product might not be suitable for everyone.
Other helpful cold-fighting supplements include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc lozenges, and Vitamin D.
You may not be able to predict when you’ll develop a cold, but with the combination of good food, rest, and immune-boosting supplements, you can influence the healing process and return to your normal life a whole lot sooner.