Published: 09/05/2013 - Updated: 01/25/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
It is estimated that on average , adults suffer up to three colds per year and recovery can take between one to two weeks: On the whole, that is a long time to feel ill. However, we can prevent colds and/or accelerate our recovery if we implement the following tips:
1. Garlic: A great cold preventor
Crushing cloves of garlic produces a compound known as allicin, a substance that has been shown to be useful against viruses. According to one study, a diet supplemented with allicin or simply by eating two raw garlic cloves every day may prove to be a very effective cold prevention remedy.
2. Do exercise
Exercise not only helps to keep our bodies working optimally, but they can also contribute to reducing our recovery time from a cold. According to a recent study, people exercise regularly had 43% fewer days of recovery, i.e. experienced cold symptoms for fewer days.
3. Sleep well
Our immune system needs good rest to function properly and protect us. People who sleep less than eight hours are more likely to catch a cold even if they feel rested than those who sleep eight or more hours per day.
4. Wash and dry your hands
Washing your hands often can prevent your exposure to unwanted germs, but do not forget to dry your hands properly since bacteria adheres more easily when the skin surface is wet. Make sure you always have a dry towel nearby to dry your hands thoroughly after being washed.
5. Avoid biting your nails
Although it is impossible to prevent your hands from picking up germs, it is not necessary to put these germs into your mouth or respiratory tract. Avoid contact with the eyes or nose, because it is very likely that these germs will be easily reproduced in these area, thus leading to an infection.
6. Consume Vitamin C
A recommendation for avoiding colds is the consumption of vitamin C, as it helps to keep our immune system optimal and in the case of suffering from a cold, consuming vitamin C may reduce symptoms by one or two days. Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C which we can include in our daily diet.
7. Consume Astragalus (Asian Milk Vetch Root)
This Chinese root can be useful when you have a cold: One study has shown that it has the ability to activate T cells (lymphocytes that fight viruses) and many experts believe that regular consumption of this plant root can help prevent colds. It is easy to include in your diet as you can chop a small piece and add it to your vegetable soup, or you can take a supplement based extract of Astragalus.
8. Do not indulge your sweet tooth
It is estimated that six teaspoons of sugar (honey, sugar, orange juice, sweetened beverages, etc.) may decrease the effectiveness of red blood cells to fight viruses or bacteria. A diet high in sugar may decrease our ability to defend ourselves against colds and other illnesses, so it is necessary to decrease the consumption of these simple carbohydrates.
9. Get Vaccinated
Although it may be that vaccines do not guarantee 100% effectiveness, they are a good way to prevent colds, flu and their symptoms. Certainly when it comes to prevention, they are a good alternative to consider.
10. Eat more fruit
Delicious as part of any diet, fruits are loaded with nutrients that allow our body to function properly, but not only that, in addition to vitamin C , fruits contain polyphenols which possess antiviral properties. Some studies indicate that consuming at least 3 servings of fruit a day can help shorten cold recovery time by upto 25%.
When living or spending time with others, we come into contact with more germs, so in this case socialising is actually good for you. Living with friends or family prevents depression and stimulates the immune system, which in turn contributes to good health and makes it less likely that you will get sick.
12. Drink plenty of liquids
Water is involved in many processes in our body and is necessary to keep our mucous membranes and immune cells working properly. If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to get sick and your recovery will be more prolonged, so you must drink enough fluids to overcome a cold.
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