Smart Ways to Beat a Cold

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The common cold isn’t normally serious, but it is still a pain, particularly when you can’t seem to beat the bug. It typically lasts around seven days in adults with normal immune systems. But if you’ve had symptoms for more than 7-10 days it’s worth visiting a doctor who can pinpoint the problem’s source. For instance, it could be bronchitis, chronic sinusitis or even an allergy. There may not be much you can do to make the sniffles go away sooner, but these tricks may help.

Wash Your Hands Clean

Washing hands with the soap is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs, bacteria and virus. Cold viruses spread via droplets and tend to live as long as 3 hours on any surface. Cold could spread by contact with contagious surfaces. So make a concentrated effort to wash your hands properly and wipe them with clean dry cloth.

Stay Hydrated

Sip lots of fluids such as water, soups, lemonade or herbal tea which helps to aid in loosening and thinning the mucus, making it easier to expel. To ease congestion, drink peppermint, ginger or chamomile tea. Avoid caffeinated beverages as these can be dehydrating.

Inhale Steam

Inhaling steam or humidified air  helps to thin and drain the mucus in your nose and sinuses. This could relieve the congestion. It also reduces the inflammation and keeps the nasal passages clear. Make it better by adding a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus or mint essential oil to the water.

Power up on Citrus

Vitamin C helps in optimizing your immune system and fight the common cold virus. Taking vitamin C before the onset of a cold may shorten the duration of its symptoms. It’s beneficial for people who are frequently exposed to the cold viruses. Go for citrus rich foods – orange, grapefruit, mandarin and lemon/limes.

Try Zinc

Zinc isn’t the cure for the common cold, but mounting evidence suggests it can be a big help. By taking zinc acetate lozenges (80 to 92 mg/day) within 24 hours of noticing cold symptoms, will speed up the recovery by three-fold. Do not overdose and avoid lozenges with citric acid as it minimizes the benefits.

Get Plenty of Zzz …

Immune system needs rest to keep you healthy. Sleep deprivation over extended periods can weaken the immune system. People who are average to sleep for 7 hours or less are three times more likely to get cold than who are averaged for 8 hours or more. Better get enough shut-eye.