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"Aaachoo!" Eating Right to Avoid or Minimize the Common Cold

The common cold is as common as white bread.  Everyone has had several versions of the cold, so we can all agree it's not fun. The runny noses, cough, sore throat, and pounding head - what a miserable time!   

Did you know there are 200 respiratory viruses?  That's a lot of virus!  With all the viruses floating out there, what can we do to ward off, or at least minimize, the effects of the common cold?   

How can I avoid or minimize the common cold?

The best way to beat the cold is to wash your hands frequently and use disinfectants on surfaces such as doorknobs, drawer pulls, telephones, and counter tops.  Giving yourself an immune system boost by following a nutrient filled diet can also greatly enhance your
body's ability to attack the cold, thus minimizing the effects of the cold or avoiding it all together.

What kinds of foods should I eat?

Including fruits and vegetables in abundance will help to improve your immune system and its ability to attack invading viruses.  Take a look at the list below and try to include as much of these options as possible.

Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C & E:    These will help keep the immune system strong.  Try citrus fruits, strawberries, red peppers, and broccoli.  To get a good amount of vitamin E, try sprinkling wheat germ on your cereal, salad, or yogurt.

Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Beta-Carotene:    Try dark leafy vegetables like spinach and bright orange fruits and veggies such as sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.

Water: In a dry environment, germs multiply.  Make sure to drink at least eight - 8 oz. of water a day to hydrate your body and make it hostile to invading viruses.

OK - So I have a cold.  What should I eat?

Below is a list of some food items you can add to your diet to help you get through a cold as painlessly as possible.

Chicken Soup:  Research suggests that chicken soup contains compounds that reduce respiratory inflammation, as well as providing hydration for the body.  Who knew that the soup our mother gave us as a child actually does a lot to heal the common cold!

Herbs: Echinacea, which boosts the immune system, Goldenseal, and Sage are all fantastic herbs to use when battling a cold.

Zinc: Taking zinc lozenges can help to cut a fever, cough, and mucus build-up especially when taken at the first sign of a cold.  The downside is that they taste awful!

Vitamin C Supplements: The daily value for vitamin C is 60mg.  Those who recommend mega dosing vitamin C when a cold arises suggest 1000 mg.

The best thing you can do when you have a cold or flu is to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. Unfortunately, resting isnít always an option. If you have to be on your feet, you can manage your symptoms with an OTC cold and flu remedy that treats multiple symptoms.

Now before you decide to prescribe different supplements for your symptoms, always check with your doctor first.  They will be able to give you a thorough check up and recommend certain remedies that are special to your needs.

So, the next time you get a cold or feel one coming on, practice the above dietary recommendations and minimize the effects of the common cold.
 
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Nothing on this site is a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. You should not use this site as a substitute for professional medical advice. For serious ailments, or if symptoms persist, you must see a medical
professional. You should not stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.

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