December 31, 2023

Immunity and Common Cold Remedies

The common cold is a viral infection that affects millions of people worldwide.

Colds are a common illness that can cause a range of symptoms, including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fatigue. While there is no cure for the common cold, you can do several things to help relieve your symptoms and feel better faster.

In this article, I explore briefly how diet and lifestyle affect your immune system and what natural remedies and supplements you can take to help relieve common cold symptoms.

Diet and Lifestyle

Diet
Poor gut health can lead to chronic inflammation, weakening the immune system and making you more susceptible to the common cold. Having a diverse gut flora is essential for your immune system function, and now more than ever, it is important to keep your gut strong by eating the right foods and feeding your good bacteria.

All the food shared in the green list on the Eat Burn Sleep platform is packed with nutrients such as Vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals to support your immune system.

Lifestyle
Poor sleep patterns, smoking, excess alcohol, and drug abuse contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle, as does lack of exercise, being overweight, being underweight, and following calorie-restrictive diets.

If you are stressed, then your sympathetic nervous system kicks in. The sympathetic nervous system shuts down the immune system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is essential for gut motility and health.

Cortisol levels trigger the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which in turn shuts down the digestive system and immune system.

You can use the tips and meditation routines shared in the mental wellness section of the Eat Burn Sleep platform to support your mental well-being.

Supplementation

If you are looking for ways to help relieve the symptoms of cold, cold supplements may be a good option for you. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

rainbow foods background with a spoon in the foreground containing supplements and pills

While a well-balanced diet should be the primary source of nutrients, supplements can provide additional support for your immune system.

Cold remedy supplements are dietary supplements that can help reduce the severity and duration of a cold. There are a variety of different cold supplements available, each with its own unique benefits. Check out my favorite products on the Yalda Loves page.

Zinc
Zinc is a mineral that has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold. It is recommended to start taking zinc supplements within 24 hours of the onset of a cold (Singh and Das, 2011). It can be taken in the form of a lozenge, capsule, or syrup, but always check the ingredients list against the food list on the Eat Burn Sleep platform.

Echinacea
Echinacea is a herb that has been shown to boost the immune system and help to fight off infection. It can be taken in the form of a capsule, tincture, or tea. More studies are needed to prove that echinacea treats a common cold. However, a review of over 3000 people showed that echinacea was more effective than a placebo in preventing and treating the common cold (Melchart et al., 2000).

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It is also thought to help to boost the immune system. Vitamin C can be taken in the form of a supplement, fruit, or vegetable. Foods high in Vitamin C include strawberries, bell peppers, papaya, broccoli, oranges and Brussels Sprouts.

Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria similar to the good bacteria that naturally live in the gut. They can help to maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which is important for overall health and immunity. Probiotics can be taken in the form of a supplement or food.

There is no one-size-fits-all cold supplement routine. The best routine for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, a general guideline is to take cold supplements as soon as you start to feel symptoms.

Natural Remedies

In addition to a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, you can try a natural common cold remedy to alleviate symptoms and promote recovery.

Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal teas, and broths (such as my Chicken Bone Broth), can help soothe a sore throat.

Rest and sleep
Providing your body with ample rest and sleep allows it to focus on healing and fighting the cold virus.

Warm salt water gargles
Gargling with warm salt water can help relieve a sore throat and reduce inflammation.

Nutrition
Warming, nutritious stews and soups, such as my Immune Boosting Chicken Soup, are a great way to get those all-important antioxidants and nutrients into your diet to support your immune system.

A bowl of Greek chicken soup with inflammation reducing turmeric, which has given it a wonderful golden colour. A healing soup.

Even the healthiest people can still catch a cold, and some suffer more than others. Check out my recent article on How to Recover From Virus Infections.

Read 10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity Quickly for more ways to improve your immunity.

The best source of treatment is prevention. Following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, such as The Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle, focuses on lowering inflammation, improving gut health, and consequently achieving an improved immune system, among many other benefits.

I recommend the popular Six-Week Reset as an excellent place to start.

Yalda xx

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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