Changes in seasons and variable weather conditions often bring the onset of sniffles, colds and flu, even in the Summer months. As much as we try to keep ourselves and our little ones protected, we just can’t prevent all occurrences of being exposed to germs floating in the air. Whether at school, the shopping mall or the workplace, we are all vulnerable.
Combating The Enemy
Short of being holed up in a prison-like home or wearing a face mask wherever we go, we must face the germs head-on. Following a healthy lifestyle, in other words, eating right, exercising and dressing accordingly, should help to keep you safe. In saying that, it is always advisable to take extra vitamin C and supplements to boost the immune system. A daily dose of a chewable vitamin C or multivitamins helps resist cold germs. To get more advice on the type of supplement to take, refer to the Consumer Advisors website.
Food And Supplements
A balanced diet as a healthy lifestyle is desirable. Proteins, vegetables and fruit, carbohydrates, dairy, fats and sugars are the main food groups. Dieting or cutting out whole food families for dietary purposes can lead to deficiencies in necessary vitamins and minerals. Therefore, supplements of vitamin C, multivitamins, calcium and iron are important. Vitamin C is a natural nutrient and antioxidant needed for the body’s immunity boosting; calcium absorption; tissue, bones and blood vessel rebuilding; enabling healing from injuries and recovery from illness and is imperative in cold and flu prevention.
Some foods high in vitamin C are:
- Citrus, i.e. oranges, lemons and grapefruit
- Kiwi fruit
- Dark leafy greens
- Raw green and red peppers
There’s no getting away from it, you still have to eat your vegetables!
Exercise & Health
The benefits of exercise are numerous. Besides keeping your weight under control, it gets those good endorphins flowing and makes you feel invigorated and happier. It is good for strengthening bones and muscle tone, especially for growing bodies. It stimulates the brain, energy levels, circulation and blood flow and thereby boosts your immune system to ward off unwanted illness. Exercise doesn’t have to include an expensive gym membership. Taking the dogs for a walk in the afternoon is family bonding, a stress reliever, you breathe your daily dose of fresh air, get free exercise, the kids love it and so do the dogs. At the end of the day, everyone will enjoy a good night’s rest. Obviously, if you have a cold already, then strenuous exercise is not advisable, consider the options as suggested by Mayo Clinic.
When you feel your eyes starting to burn, you start sneezing and you find yourself wilting slowly – not being able to do what you normally do, then jump into action. Take high doses of an effervescent Vitamin C every hour and a half (half dose for little ones), make yourself a ‘flu shot’ of freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, ginger and cayenne pepper (which should be downed quickly as the taste isn’t great and it burns but the kick and benefits are astounding!)
In The Throes
If you were unable to ward off a cold and it gets the better of you, these home remedies are tried and trusted:
- Plenty of rest and sleep.
- Drink lots of water.
- Continue your intake of vitamin C.
- Sniff salt water to clear the sinuses. If that is too unsavoury, then over-the-counter saline solutions are effective.
- Steam yourself regularly. Steam in bed with a bowl of boiling water, keeping a towel over your head to channel the steam. Try to steam for at least 10 minutes. If that is too much effort, you can purchase a good humidifier from your local pharmacy.
- Hot toddies before you go to bed help you to sweat it out and sleep better. This includes hot water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, and a tot of whiskey (optional).
- If all else fails, consult your doctor. If you can avoid antibiotics, then you have won the battle!
If you eat healthily, drink plenty of water, exercise at least 3 times a week, get sufficient sleep, take your daily supplements and try to stay away from germs by washing your hands often, then you should remain cold-free. Simple, eh?!