It’s that time of year again – the weather gets chilly, humidity levels drop, the air gets drier and before you know it the pesky cold bug leaves you feeling sick and miserable.
Although there is no cure for the common cold there are some measures you can take to avoid catching a cold, or minimize it if you wake up one morning with a scratchy throat and runny nose.
The number one most important tip is to wash your hands – frequently, with soap and for a minimum of 15 seconds. No bathroom in sight? Hand sanitizer is a good alternative, although not as good as simple good old-fashioned soap and water.
Keeping the body hydrated will also help ward off a cold. Try to drink 8 oz. of water every two hours and if you feel the onset of a cold coming, drink lots of hot lemon and honey – but avoid alcohol and coffee as they can dehydrate you. Green tea is also an excellent hot beverage with a 2007 research showing the L-Theanine found in green tea helps prevent a cold, or minimizes the symptoms of those already suffering.
Over the counter medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin can actually be more effective than decongestants as they help ease the pain of a sore throat, muscle aches, sinus pain and headaches. Remember that a cold is caused by a virus, so steer clear of antibiotics, which will only treat bacterial infections.
Source: NBC Today
Grandma was right when she whipped up a batch of homemade chicken soup. According to the National Institutes of Health, soup as a cold remedy has been around since the 12th century and does have some scientific value. It helps keep the body hydrated, aids in alleviating congestion and some research shows a bowl of chicken broth can help reduce inflammation. Make sure to add plenty of veggies so the body can load up on vitamins.
Lastly, health officials tout plenty of sleep. Research has shown a link between sleep deprivation and the body’s ability to fend off the common cold. When the body is tired, it is harder for the immune system to fight off viruses. Aim for 7- 8 hours of shut eye every night, which means putting down those electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime!