We have all been there. You wake up one morning, your throat is itchy, you have red eyes, snuffles and maybe you have already sneezed a few times.
Here are some tips to help prevent the spread or worsening of a cold before you find yourself out of action for a few days.
- Take some honey! This is both fun and very tasty. Grab a couple of tablespoons a few times a day and sweeten your day and your food. Add to tea, coffee, cereal or your favourite snack. Make sure the honey is RAW (raw/unpasteurised honey vs pasteurised contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals needed to boost the immune system). Adding a little lemon to the honey will increase its anti-microbial effect.
- Zinc. Many colds are caused by a type of virus called hinovirus. Zinc may work by preventing the rhinovirus from propagating. It can reduce the severity and duration of a cold if taken within the first 24 hours.
- Known to not only shorten the duration of a cold by 25% but also make symptoms up to 35% less severe. Keep an eye out for a pharmacist/Dr recommended brand. They need to be taken regularly for maximum benefits.
- Vitamin C. Studies show that Vitamin C doesn’t play a major role in preventing colds. However, taking Vitamin C as the symptoms commence may shorten its duration. If you are not keen on vitamins, you can opt for some freshly squeezed orange juice daily. Other foods with even higher Vitamin C content than citrus fruits are: capsicum, guava, kale or spinach, kiwis, broccoli and berries.
- Wash your hands. Surprisingly, the most common way colds and viruses are spread are by skin to skin contact. Shaking hands with someone with a cold, or coming into contact with something they have touched can transfer the virus. Wash your hands frequently when you have been in contact with lots of people or public places and especially when around someone who’s sick.
- Have an early night. Rest and sleep more than usual during this time. This is paramount in the first 72 hours. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night gives your body a better opportunity to combat viruses. Try to take it easy and withhold exercise for the first 48-72 hours to allow your body to fight off the virus.
- Turn on the vaporiser. Humid air is a great natural decongestant during the overnight hours. Vaporisers moisten dry air and can soothe wheezy coughs, clears nasal passages, and loosens mucus, helping you get a good night rest!
- Increase fluids, particularly water. Drinking the recommended 8 to 10 glasses a day will thin the mucous making it easier for your body to rid it. You can include orange juice (home-made) and herbal teas of your choice. Be wary of milk as dairy stimulates the production of mucous making it perfect breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria.
Remember, it’s best and proven to be more effective than over the counter medicine to opt for the natural choices to soothe or prevent colds from worsening.