Preventing the Common Cold with Healthy Habits and Supplements
Unfortunately, fall and winter go hand in hand with cold and flu season. Though it’s a yearly occurrence, we are still filled with dread thinking about coming down with a nasty bug each time the weather turns.
Fortunately, you can take plenty of steps to avoid catching the flu or the common cold — many of which are healthy habits you are (hopefully) already practicing. Other tips to boost immunity include tailoring your nutrition to include copious amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Let’s talk about the best ways to boost your immune system through healthy habits, nutrition, dietary supplements, and more.
How to Prevent the Common Cold with Healthy Habits
Preventing the common cold or the dreaded flu starts with protecting yourself from contact with the virus in the first place.
Limit your exposure to germs responsible for the common cold by:
- Washing your hands after using the bathroom
- Washing your hands when you return home
- Washing your hands after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
- Disinfecting shared surfaces like keyboards, phones, remotes, and doorknobs
- Not sharing drinking glasses, toothbrushes, towels, or utensils
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
A quick rinse of your hands will not protect you against the common cold. You must adequately wash your hands. That means using soap and warm water, scrubbing your hands for at least twenty seconds, and taking care to scrub all surfaces of your hands and underneath your fingernails.
You will likely come into close contact with the common cold virus on shared surfaces at work or home. However, preventing the germs from entering your body will stop you from coming down with the bug. That’s why it’s so important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and frequently washing your hands. These are the best ways to boost immunity and avoid coming down with the common cold altogether.
How to Boost Immunity with Nutrition
Besides practicing good personal hygiene and attempting to avoid contracting the common cold, you can boost immunity through nutrition. A strong immune system means that your symptoms will be less severe when you contract the viruses that cause the common cold and flu.
Boost immunity with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consume plenty of:
- Green vegetables - Dark leafy greens are rich in the vitamins necessary to boost immunity
- Foods rich in vitamin D - Many people fall short of daily vitamin D requirements, and a deficiency in this vitamin means a weakened immune system. Foods rich in vitamin D are egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, and liver
- Foods rich in vitamin C - Vitamin C helps boost immunity to ward of the common cold and flu and is especially effective in those who suffer from chronic stress.
How to Boost Immunity with Supplements
Some supplements can help those who struggle to consume a varied diet rich in the vitamins and minerals required to boost immunity.
- Vitamin C supplements - Vitamin C reduces inflammation and is thought to help boost immunity and shorten common cold symptoms.
- Vitamin D supplements - Vitamin D supplements boost immunity and significantly decrease your risk of contracting respiratory tract infections like the common cold.
- B Complex Vitamin supplements - B complex supplements boost immunity and are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin B supplements are especially helpful to those who adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet as there is an increased risk of vitamin B deficiencies with these diets
- Zinc supplements - Zinc is a proven way to shorten the length of the common cold and ease symptoms associated with it, including nasal congestion, drainage, sore throat, and cough.
- Elderberry supplements - Sweet elderberry syrup is full of antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that boost your immune system to prevent the common cold and other viruses. It also holds the potential to reduce and shorten symptoms if you do contract something.
- Probiotic supplements - Probiotics are one of those supplements that everyone should be taking because of their wide array of health benefits. One of the benefits is a more robust immune system, as much of your immune-boosting bacteria lives in the gut.
You can certainly take individual vitamins and minerals, but you may find it more convenient to take one multivitamin. Check with your doctor for the daily recommended dosage of each vitamin and then check your preferred multivitamin’s label. Should your multivitamin be lower in some vitamins than you like, you can add additional supplements.
Other Ways to Boost Immunity
Aside from good personal hygiene habits and nutrition, there are other ways you can protect yourself from the flu and common cold. Some of the other ways to boost your immunity and protect yourself include:
- Flu shot - Get a flu shot every year. It’s recommended that everyone over six months old receive a flu shot every year in early fall.
- Regular exercise - Staying active circulates white blood cells around the body at a higher rate, which helps fight off the common cold.
- Get adequate sleep - When you adequately rest, your body can better resist viruses and bacteria you come into contact with.
- Skip alcohol - Consuming alcohol can damage your body’s immune system, and prolonged use can increase your exposure to infections.
- De-stress- Cortisol, the hormonal response to stressors, wreaks havoc on your body and immune system. Take measures to reduce your stress.
Supplement Superstore wants you to stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season. By following these tips, you can give your body it’s best fighting chance to fight off any germs you encounter.
By keeping your immune system in tip-top shape, if you do contact the common cold, your body will be able to fight it off quicker, helping you get back to normal sooner.
Check out our wide selection of individual vitamins and multivitamins, and other immune-boosting supplements to keep you and your family protected this cold and flu season. As always, if you have any questions regarding boosting your immunity with supplements, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. How do you keep your body strong and healthy through the cold months?