Health

Cold Busters

It’s cold and flu season so use these tips to have a happy and healthy Winter.

Prevention:

  • The number one thing to prevent a cold or flu is to wash your hands with soap and water – thoroughly and frequently scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Get more sleep – You are 3 times more likely to develop a cold if you routinely sleep less than 7 hours a night compared to those who sleep for 8 or more hours.
  • Move more – Exercise helps your immune system to fight off simple infections such as colds and flu. 
  • Ditch the cigarettes – Need another reason to give them up? Smoking affects the upper and lower respiratory tract making you more likely to catch a cold or flu.
  • Never sneeze onto you hand – use a tissue or your elbow to stop it from spreading.

Treating:

There’s no cure for the common cold but use these tips to help ease your discomfort and possibly shorten its duration.

  • You may need to pause your workouts – Exercise may stress your body even more and hinder your recovery so listen to your body. 
  • Stay hydrated – prevents dehydration and thins mucus.
  • Antibiotics are a no-no
  • Vitamin C – A recent review of 11,00 people showed that taking vitamin C did not lower the risk of catching a cold or flu. It may however reduce the risk for individuals who expose themselves to extreme stress e.g. distance running or other intense workouts.
  • Zinc – The best evidence supports the use of zinc lozenges to reduce the intensity of cold symptoms.
  • Ginger – It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and cough suppressing properties make it the perfect spice to team up with a cold or flu. It also stimulates sweating to help bring down your body temperature and cleanse your system.  If you feel a cold coming on have some ginger tea or add to a bath or footbath.
  • Lemon juice – it’s anti-inflammatory properties will help ease sore throats and irritated membranes. Drink some lemon and ginger tea to help fight a cold or flu.
  • Thyme – Acts as an expectorant to help clear out your lungs faster. Add some thyme (fresh/dried/essential oil) to a hot bath or create a steamer with a bowl and cover your head with a towel.
  • Garlic – Its antimicrobial and antiviral superpowers help to fight colds and flus. It’s most potent when raw so during sickness eat it raw or crush it and place it on the soles of your foot with some olive oil (do not add the garlic directly onto the skin, cover skin with a light bandage and hold it in place with another bandage and sock).
  • Cumin – enhances immune function.
  • Tumeric – Potent anti-viral anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Drink with some hot water and lemon or add it to curries, soups and dips.
  • Eldeberry Exract (Sambucol) – Studies have shown sambucol to significantly shorten the duration of a cold or flu.

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