- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to avoid a cold before it takes hold
Sunday night I started getting cold symptoms and today being a Tuesday afternoon there is improvement and it almost seems to be gone. I haven't taken any over the counter medication for it either. So today I will write up a few things I do in order to get rid of a cold before it becomes an annoying problem. I will also add a few other things I've heard/read about that also may help.
Get plenty of rest
This is one of the most important things to do when sick. I realise people work full time and aren't able to get as much rest as they should but it is important for the first few days that you feel a cold coming on to get 8-10 hours worth of rest as it will help fight the virus. Your body works at repairing and fighting off viruses whilst you sleep so the more you can get during this time the better.
Keep your fluids up
You don't want to become dehydrated so make sure to drink plenty of fluids. The most obvious choice is water but other warm fluids are fine also. Tea is one of the best, black or green are both fine and will provide you with antioxidants which help to fight the virus. You will want to also avoid drinks high in caffeine as they are dehydrating. Obviously alcohol is a no no.
Even when I am not sick I always try to drink my 1 litre bottle of water per day but when I am sick I will drink more to stay hydrated and keep away mucus build up.
Foods and vitamins
I eat certain foods that also help with fighting off a cold. Vitamins A, C and E are important not just duraing a cold but all the time to prevent free radicals in the body. Some of these foods will help you get rid of that cold faster. So the most obvious being fruits, especially citrus like oranges and grapefruits that have vitamin C. Kiwi fruit actually has more vitamin C than oranges so that's a good alternative. If there are none in the house or they are not in season I just take a vit C supplement to make things easier, I know there are other foods with vit C but sometimes it's hard to feel like eating with a cold. I also tend to eat a lot of garlic when I feel a cold coming on and it helps me. Also the good old fashioned home made chicken soup. The warm broth helps clear your throat and it's a fluid so will keep you hydrated and warm. Other foods you can eat that will help are leafy greens, carrots, sweet potato, red peppers, mushrooms, lean meat such as fish and chicken and one of my favourite things dark chocolate! Make sure the chocolate is at least 70% and only a small amount not the whole block.
Have a sore throat?
If you have a sore throat Gargle some warm salt water. This will help flush out the virus and bacteria. I've also read it helps to draw out excess water, reduce inflammation and clears mucous and irritants. Also another thing I love to take is honey. You can just have a nice big teaspoon straight out of the jar or you can stir it into your tea. I put mine into my green tea.
Having a high amount of stress can have an affect on the immune system. Try to find ways to destress and unwind every evening. Two ways that I personally use to relax is meditation and yoga. Obviously this is not for everyone so try and find something that you enjoy and relaxes your body and mind, something that allows you to forget about all the worries of the day or even the worries of the next. It can be something as simple as watching some funny videos or being engrossed in a good book.
Hope this helps you the next time you feel a cold coming on and remember even if you don't have a cold it's best to have a healthy diet full of these good foods to decrease your chances of getting a cold or simply having less severe symptoms.