You’ve probably heard about Common Cold and Flu more than a million times. And in reality, there’s no cure for the common cold. But, by filling up on immunity-boosting vitamins and nutrients things could get better. Of course, you get a sniffle or maybe a scratchy throat and you wonder; is it just a common cold or something more serious, like the flu?
In that case, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. In general, common colds and flu (influenza) are very contagious. They are viral infections and you can catch a common cold or flu at any time of the year. And which means that it’s not just in winter. And although many of the symptoms can be similar, the treatments are very different.
In this post, I am going to discuss everything you need to know to avoid getting sick in the first place. And even what to do if you get a common cold or the flu. But why is common cold so common?
What is Common Cold?
The Common Cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold. More often, children younger than 6 are at the greatest risk of colds, but healthy adults can also expect to have two or three colds annually.
Most people recover from a common cold in a week or 10 days. Symptoms might last longer in people who smoke. If symptoms don’t improve, see your doctor. Symptoms of a common cold usually appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus. But they can vary from person to person.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Slight body aches or a mild headache
- Low-grade fever
- Generally feeling unwell (malaise)
The discharge from your nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as a common cold runs its course. This isn’t an indication of a bacterial infection. In particular, they are more common during the winter months, possibly because people are more likely to stay indoors and be in close contact with each other.
How is Flu different from Common Cold?
People often confuse the common cold and the flu because many of the symptoms overlap and can be eased by over-the-counter remedies. One important clue to what you’re dealing with is how quickly symptoms strike. If they come on gradually, it’s probably a cold. Whereas, if they strike and progress quickly, it’s probably the flu. Generally, common cold and flu are both Contagious.
So, to help you figure it out, here’s a snapshot of what each illness feels like.
- pregnant women,
- children younger than 2,
- adults 65 and older,
- and people with compromised immune systems.
For most people, however, it’s not necessary to see a doctor. Antibiotics won’t help; they treat bacterial infections, not viruses.
When do I see a Doctor?
Although many types of viruses can cause a common cold, rhinoviruses are the most common culprit. A cold virus enters your body through your mouth, eyes, or nose. The virus can spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks.
It also spreads by hand-to-hand contact with someone who has a cold or by sharing contaminated objects, such as utensils, towels, toys, or telephones. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after such contact or exposure, you’re likely to catch a cold.
For adults —
Seek medical attention if you have:
- Fever greater than 101.3 F (38.5 C)
- Fever lasting five days or more or returning after a fever-free period
- Shortness of breath
- Severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain
For children —
In general, your child doesn’t need to see the doctor for a common cold. But seek medical attention right away if your child has any of the following:
- Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) in newborns up to 12 weeks
- Rising fever or fever lasting more than two days in a child of any age
- Symptoms that worsen or fail to improve
- Severe symptoms, such as headache or cough
- Ear pain
- Extreme fussiness
- Unusual drowsiness
- Lack of appetite
With this in mind, accredited Practising Dietitian Emma Williams shares the top nutrients to try. Especially, in order to control the effects of common cold and flu. Including the basic use of common supplements and dietary meals at the comfort of our home.
When you’re already sick, getting some extra foods high in Vitamin C has been proven to shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms. Vitamin C lowers levels of histamine, a defensive chemical released by the immune system that is responsible for causing ‘stuffiness’ and other cold and flu symptoms.
At the same time, it appears to strengthen white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection. Equally, good food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, capsicums, and broccoli.
Zinc has long been appreciated for its immune-boosting power and may help to shorten the duration of a cold. Additionally, Zinc gluconate and zinc acetate lozenges (a great alternative to sugar-laden throat lollies) are readily available over the counter at pharmacies.
You can also get more zinc in your diet with lean poultry, some types of seafood, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals.
Garlic & Echinacea
Garlic has been used throughout history for treating virtually every type of infection. There is increasing evidence that it can help protect against colds and flu as well. As a matter of fact, Garlic contains dozens of chemically active compounds. Two of them, allicin and allin have been shown to kill germs directly.
Not to mention, Zinc has long been appreciated for its immune-boosting power. Whereas, it may help to shorten the duration of a cold. The people who use echinacea to treat symptoms of a cold or flu have the right idea. It may stimulate the body’s immune system through photochemical called alkylamides.
Some of the bioactive phytochemicals in Olive leaf extract, especially oleuropein, are said to enhance the immune system in multiple ways. They may improve immune function by attacking the flu virus once symptoms are present. Additionally, the replication of viruses responsible for the common cold and flu may be interfered with by the bioactive phytochemicals in the olive leaf extract.
However, although there is some laboratory evidence for these effects, clinical evidence in humans is inconclusive. Olive leaf can be taken as a liquid concentrate, dried leaf tea, powder, or capsule. The leaf extracts can be taken in powder, liquid concentrate, or capsule form.
How to Fight Common Cold by drinking Hot Water
While drinking hot water of any temperature can support overall wellbeing, drinking hot water is thought to provide a range of additional health benefits. People have consumed hot drinks for thousands of years. The folk medical literature is filled with stories of how hot water can improve health, but researchers have only just begun to look into the benefits of drinking hot water.
Hot water only adds to the long list of reasons why water should be a staple in your diet with several exclusive reliefs. No one can argue that hot water is not tasty. But the few seconds of weirdness significantly outweigh the benefits. Apart from drinking hot water to fight the common cold and flu, it can as well help improve your general Health and Fitness.
Health and Fitness benefits include;
- support to your skin,
- body tissues,
- and even joints.
It is also important to realize that; drinking hot water helps the body’s cells absorb nutrients and fight infections. Drinking a recommend cycle of 8 glasses of water each day might offer even more benefits than the general intake of food.
Although there is little scientific research on the benefits of drinking hot water, alternative health advocates argue that hot water is an easy way to improve health. Here is the full list of benefits of drinking Hot Water to Fight Flu or the Common Cold.
What is the Recommended Temperature?
Hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, are often served at near-boiling temperatures. It is not necessary for a person to risk a burn to gain the benefits of hot water. Surprisingly, people who dislike hot water should consider drinking water at or slightly above body temperature. A 2008 study reported an optimal drinking temperature of 136 °F (57.8°C) for coffee.
This temperature reduced the risk of burns, but still offered the pleasant sensations of a hot drink. Drinking hot water will not cure any diseases but, as long as the water is not scalding, the risks are minimal. So people who already enjoy hot water or who want to try a simple method for improving their health should feel assured that they are benefitting from it.
Lemon Water is full of hidden benefits to your general health. In general, lemon is an acid fruit that is botanically a many-seeded pale yellow oblong berry. Not to mention, produced by a small thorny citrus tree (Citrus limon) and that has a rind from which an aromatic oil is extracted. As a rich source of vitamin C, lemon juice protects the body from Immune system deficiencies.
Drinking lemon juice with warm water every morning helps in maintaining the pH balance of the body. Along with vitamin C, lemons are also a rich source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc. Then again, another major health benefit of drinking warm lemon water is that it paves the way for losing weight faster. Thus acting as a great weight loss remedy.
Equally important, warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating waste products from the body easier.
In conclusion, drinking hot water is one of the best favors you can do to your body. It has surprising health benefits such as strong kidneys, more energy, better mood, and lower cholesterol. As can be seen, once caught, there is no effective cure for the misery of the common cold. And so, it’s hardly surprising that many of us reach for vitamins as complementary therapy.
However, we must be sure to weigh up the health risks associated with taking high levels of supplements. For example, taking large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, fatigue, or even kidney stones. While taking a vitamin supplement possesses little health risk in the short term. And may benefit a person who has a deficiency.
Wherever possible, try to get your vitamins and nutrients from food sources. As part of a balanced diet, rather than relying on supplements. If you’ll have more additions to this blog, please share them in the comments section. Or even Contact Us for more support and answers to your questions.