5 ways to stop a cold in its tracks

By Jessah Shaw, Adv Dip (Nut Med)

When you feel the symptoms of a cold taking over it can be incredibly frustrating not knowing how long the virus will hang around and affect your overall activities. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to prevent colds from taking over your body in the first place and to shorten their length.

1. Don’t underestimate vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a major role in regulating the immune system. A study of nearly 11,000 people published in the British Medical Journal proved if everyone took vitamin D supplements, more than 3 million fewer people in the UK would have respiratory infections, like colds or influenza, every year. While there are some dietary sources of vitamin D, the easiest and best way to make sure you’re getting enough of the sunshine vitamin is to aim to spend at least 20 minutes in the sun daily with your arms, legs and shoulders exposed. Vitamin D deficiency is widespread. It is important to get your vitamin D levels checked every 6 to 12 months to ensure you are not deficient.

2. Keep those hands clean

One of the most basic ways to prevent spreading germs or getting sick is to ensure you are washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The right way to wash your hands is using soap and warm water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (making sure you’re getting in between your fingers and underneath your nails). Also, when coughing or sneezing make sure you do so into your elbow or into a tissue and wash your hands immediately afterwards.

3. Keep stress to a minimum

Being stressed causes your body to produce excess cortisol which hampers the ability of white blood cells to fight infection. Stress also depletes the body of magnesium, an important mineral that helps to relax and calm the nervous system. Our magnesium ultra potent powder provides 400 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon which is the daily therapeutic dose. Other ways to reduce stress include listening to relaxing music or inspirational podcasts, going for a walk, yoga or meditation.

4. Prioritise sleep

While it is essential to get adequate sleep this is often easier said than done, particularly if you have a young family and/or crazy work schedule. Nevertheless, it is very important to make the effort. If you aren’t able to log the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, we suggest trying to get in a 15-minute nap during the day, even this can make a world of difference. It is a fact that a rested body is a healthier body.

5. Think zinc

The mineral zinc is essential for a healthy, strong immune system and zinc has proven anti-viral effects. Zinc deficiency is harmful to white blood cells and causes an increased susceptibility to infections. To quickly boost zinc levels, you can use zinc lozenges which inhibit viruses in the nose and throat. Alternatively, meat, tofu, oysters and lentils are excellent sources of this mineral.

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