If you’re worried about catching a cold, you’re not alone. According to the American Lung Association, adults can suffer from an average of about two to four colds a year—usually between September and May. These highly contagious, minor infections of the nose and throat can take more than a week to get over. Luckily, if you’re worried about getting an upper respiratory infection this fall or winter, there are some preventative measures you can take. Here are five ways to help fight the common cold.
Zinc. Yes, a regular supplement can help, and taking zinc lozenges, tablets, or syrup within 24 hours of your first sign of infection can reduce the length and severity.
Relax. According to Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, internist and past president of the American College of Physicians, “when you’re under stress, your immune system ends up under-reacting to viral and bacterial infections.” Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found that mindfulness meditation training can decrease the occurrence, duration, and severity of colds by 35 to 60 percent.
Water. According to Fryhofer, “hydration helps keep your nasal passages moist, so they can actually get rid of little particles from bacteria.” So grab your bottle of H20 and take it on the go to stay hydrated throughout the day—just makes sure to rinse your bottle with soapy hot water and leave the lid open to dry before filling it back up.
Gargle. Gargling with water or salt water can flush out toxins and bugs, so try gargling with water a few times daily.
Probiotics. Probiotic supplements can reduce the duration of the common cold by two days (from six days to four), according to a recent study. Symptoms may also be a third less severe when taking these supplements, and they have also been shown to reduce the number of days subjects had to stay home. Pay attention to the strains, and look for LGG and BB12.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: Relax by RelaxingMusic, used under a creative commons license.
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