According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can contract a cold two to three times a year. Here we have some tips and tricks to help you tackle a cold and remain healthy.
20. Gargling with Warm Salt Water
You may have heard of this tip countless times. Every time you contract a cold, there is always someone reminding you of this remedy. And it works. How? Salt helps to kill pathogens. In addition, it helps with the inflammation and loosens mucus. All you need is 1/2 teaspoon of salt with warm water.
Dr. Phillips, MD, from New York City, has stated that the liquids you consume will help in thinning the mucus that is produced as a result of getting ill. Thus, clearing out the mucus from your system becomes even easier when it is thinner. Dr. Phillips has also recommended drinking 2 liters of water for hydration. Liquids also help prevent dehydration.
18. Tap Your Chest
Tap your chest. Why? An acupressure point is present in the middle of the sternum (breastbone), at the same level of the third rib. Daniel Hsu, a doctor of acupuncture and Asian medicine, has stated that gentle taps in that region for a minute every couple of hours will help to attack pathogens by inducing the thymus glands to release more T cells.
17. Open a Window
Fresh air does not only uplift your spirit, but also helps others by making it harder for them to pick up the virus as the air now will circulate keeping the airborne pathogen on the move.
16. Regular Sleep
Get regular sleep! This is another important factor if you do not want to get a cold. The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study in which it was reported that individuals who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to catch a cold than the others who got at least had eight hours of sleep.
Having a spoonful of honey is very beneficial when you have cold. It has antimicrobial properties and the thick consistency of the honey helps to ease the throat.
14. Chicken Soup
This remedy has many uses. A classic cold remedy, heating up chicken soup will produce steam that will help you clear your stuffed nose. In addition to that, the broth will help soothe an irritated throat. That’s not it, there is more.
Research has found that certain properties of the chicken soup help in slowing the movement of WBCs. When these infection fighting cells move slowly, they will spend more time in the body, thus having more time to fight the infection.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. In 2012, a research was conducted with two groups of people who were suffering from colds. One group was given a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The study showed that the probiotic helped them recover two days earlier and the symptoms were 34% less severe than that of the other group.
Rob Danoff, DO, program director at Aria Health in Philadelphia, says that a humidifier helps cold symptoms by making the air you breathe in contain more moisture.
11. Elderberry Extract
Elderberry helps colds and flus by reducing nasal congestion and it also makes you sweat more. A study that was conducted has suggested that using a standardized elderberry extract, like Sambucol, will shorten the duration of the cold by about 3 days.
10. Essential Oils
A steam inhalation is one of the best remedies for a cold. Eucalyptus is one of the recommended oils you can use as it contains antiviral, antibacterial and decongestant properties. Other oils you can opt for include, lavender, pine or tea tree.
9. Drinking Tea
Murray Grossan, MD, ear, nose and throat specialist, says that drinking hot black tea or green tea with lemon and honey helps. How? Drinking tea and inhaling its steam help the cilia, the hairy structures in the nose, to remove microbes more effectively.
Sometimes all you need is a protein fix. Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, director of nutrition, has stated that research has substantiated that the immune system slows down as a result of lack of protein. Therefore, consuming protein rich food, like eggs, yogurt, and fish, will make you better.
7. Watch out for Sneezers
Dr. Phillips says, that germs that are forced out when sneezing can travel to nearly 20 feet. Therefore, if an individual next to you starts coughing or sneezing, politely move away.
6. Clean Your Nose
You can do this as a nighttime routine. Take a neti pot with boiled water that has been cooled and salted or buy an over the counter saline solution or nasal irrigator. What this will do is clear out the viruses that you have inhaled during the day before it starts to affect your system.
5. Zinc Lozenges
You start taking pills when you start feeling sick. Zinc is an essential mineral required by the immune system. Marc Leavey, MD, a primary-care physician in Lutherville, says “If I get a scratchy throat and think I might be getting a cold, I pop Cold-Eeze lozenges with zinc for a few days. They relieve symptoms and can get you better faster.”
4. Light Exercise
Some light exercise might make you feel less dreary and liven you up. A walk or some gentle yoga poses, that contains no inversions, can help your circulation. Remember, when you have contracted a nasty cold or flu, it is not the time for a complete workout session that you may normally do. The body requires the energy to attack the virus!
3. Sit Up!
When lying on your back, the mucus tends to collect in the sinus cavities that can result in secondary infections or even sinusitis. Dr. Philips says that propping yourself at 45 degree angle while resting or sleeping will help the blood to flow away from your head. This will result in a reduction of inflammation of the nose as well as the sinuses.
2. Break the Habit
Break the habit of touching your lips and your nose. This will help you not to get sick as much. It is not an easy feat, as it is recorded that an average person touches his or her nose or mouth more than three times an hour. Margarita Rohr, MD, an internist at NYU Langone Medical Center, states that “Not touching your face greatly cuts your odds of getting sick”.
Research published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition has proven that mushrooms have immune boosting properties. Individuals who consumed shiitake mushroom everyday for a month were tested to have higher numbers of T cells and less inflammation.
Let us know if any of these tips and tricks work for you! We hope you feel a little bit better after this article.