Surviving the cold season requires a plan. Your first action should be prevention, followed by utilizing the most effective remedies should you get a cold.
Preventing a cold
Fuel your body with lots of the good stuff to help keep your immune system strong and prevent colds.
•Don’t skimp on fruits and vegetables. Aim for 8-10 servings per day.
•Skip saturated fats such as cheese and butter because they tend to impair the immune system.
•Put healthy bacteria in your digestive system by eating plain, non-fat yogurt, rather than the sugary varieties.
•Try adding some garlic to your diet as studies indicate it may strengthen the immune system and shorten the duration of colds. Two to three cloves will work without offending others.
•Stick to plain old Vitamin C if you want to supplement. Start taking it before you get sick. Don’t waste your money on products such as Airborne that have been shown to be ineffective in studies.
•Keep your fluids up by drinking lots of water, at least eight glasses per day. Water helps loosen congestion. Coffee, soda, caffeinated tea and juice don’t count as they are diuretics which will reduce your fluid retention.
•Find a recipe for homemade chicken soup that you love. Make it often as “homemade” chicken soup contains compounds that will boost your immune system.
Best remedies if you catch a cold
•Get lots of rest which means complete rest, not surfing the internet or watching TV.
•Water up as it loosens and thins congestion.
•Use a Neti Pot or other similar device to flush warm saline solution through the sinuses and wash away crud and bacteria.
•Try a nasal saline spray to keep the sinuses free of debris.
•Avoid nasal decongestants as they may actually trap bacteria. Instead, opt for an expectorant to thin mucous.
•Gargle with warm salt water. Salt is a natural antiseptic, and salt water will flush away bacteria.
•Stay away from tobacco as it will irritate your already inflamed nasal passages.