Loading up on tons of extra Vitamin C above the level your body needs hasn’t been proven to reduce the number of colds you get each year. However, consuming enough Vitamin C each day can help reduce the length and severity of colds when you do get them. The best way to get Vitamin C is through foods, not supplements. The nutrients in food work synergistically in our body, which is much better than isolating a certain nutrient alone in a supplement. Oranges and bell peppers are two delicious Vitamin C rich choices.
Zap that cold with Zinc
A review study that came out in 2011 concluded that zinc can help reduce the severity and duration of the common cold. Also, when people consumed zinc supplements over the long term, there was the potential to reduce the number of colds they got. Stock up on zinc rich food choices like nuts, seeds, meat, shellfish, and fortified cereal. If you get a cold and have a hard time meeting your zinc needs, consider some zinc lozenges to help kick the cold to the curb.
Try probiotics for tummy trouble
If you suffer from problems with digestion or diarrhea, trying foods with probiotics may be a good option for you. Probiotics are a type of “good” bacteria found in some foods. Your body also contain certain types of healthy bacteria in your digestive system, but sometimes the balance of these healthy bacteria can decrease (for example, antibiotics for treating bad bacteria elsewhere in the body can kill off some of this good bacteria too). You don’t necessarily need probiotic foods to be healthy, but many people find they are beneficial. An easy probiotic for most people to eat is yogurt. And you don’t have to look for one of those pricey brands of yogurt that are labeled to help with digestion – any brand of yogurt contains live cultures of healthy bacteria.
Other Health Tips
These tips outside the nutrition realm may be obvious, but are worth mentioning...
Wash your hands frequently.
Everything we touch throughout the day contains germs, and in many places we wouldn’t expect – for example, did you know the bottoms of many women’s purses are dirtier than toilet seats? Take care of yourself by washing your hands throughout the day to prevent spreading those germs into your body.
Get enough sleep.
When you’re sleep deprived, your body has a harder time fighting off bacteria and viruses. By logging enough sleep each night, you have a better chance of avoiding illness. Get at least 7-8 hours a night if possible – and some people may require more than this.
Studies show that regular moderate exercise improves immune function. Getting 30-60 minutes most days can help fight off colds and flus. That being said, those who are training for major endurance events may actually be more susceptible to illness, especially in the period directly after long, intense exercise. Be sure to wash your hands frequently, replenish your body with healthy food choices, and get enough sleep on these days.
Share with us: Which tip will you incorporate to cut the chances of getting sick this winter?