It’s hard to avoid catching a cold or flu once the winter chills hit. Whether it’s something going around in the office, or the exposure during your time on public transport – we all get sick one way or another. The feeling of congested sinuses, head and body aches, raspy or sore throats, and feeling quite fatigue, are all feelings we know all too well. Before you go straight in to the battle field to try and fight this sickness, firstly it’s important to understand what you’re battling.
Our bodies are quite resilient and quite often the common symptoms of feeling fatigue, running nose, coughing, and body aches are our powerful immune system responses to battling any nasties within. The common cold can be caused by over 200 viruses. Once one of these nasty viruses enters our body, and essentially invades or attack nearby cells- aka. You’re now sick! The infected cells will react by releasing a chemical messenger known as cytokines which actives the inflammatory process to fight the virus. This ongoing battle inside your body results in most of our common cold symptoms listed earlier.
In any battle you always need allies. In this instance your best allies is natural medicine which composes of natural vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your body during this battle.
Clinical trials has highlighted supplementing your body with zin within 24 hours of your symptoms can reduce the duration and severity of cold. Nobody likes a nasty cold that last for days! With just a 30mg dosage of zinc, it can boost your production and function of immune cells (T cells) which are required to eliminate pathogens from the body. Regularly taking zinc supplements over a long period of time can also result in reduce infection rates and need for antibiotic prescriptions.
Our next allies are the mighty medicinal mushrooms. More notable species include cordyceps, coriolus, reishi and shiitake. These mushrooms collectively are able to provide relief from symptoms of the common cold. Not only that, they are powerful enough to enhance our immune strength and function, inhibit viral entry into host cells, and promote the production of antibodies that help your body fight the infection.
Ahhh.. the famous Vitamin C. We all know to increase our vitamin c levels when we’re feeling run down with a cold, but do you know why? Vitamin C has shown in studies that I can reduce the symptoms, severity and duration of the common cold. That’s enough for me to start eating my oranges!
Incorporating the vitamins and minerals listed above are essential in aiding your body recover from sickness, however the most beneficial way is also to ensure you have ample rest and down time whenever you can. Instead of putting your body through stress by pushing through your day when you’re feeling far from 100%, allow your body to receive ample rest and down time. This will give your body a chance to heal and focus on fighting the nasties within. In addition to rest, ensuring you’re consuming plenty of fluids (water, herbal tea, soups and broths) will aid in the recovery process.
Don’t forget to play your part in society, when struck with a cold be mindful of your peers around you and don’t spread the virus further. Coughing and sneezing in to a tissue, ensuring you’ve washed your hands afterwards, and avoid close contact with others during this time, can all aid in eliminating the spread of the virus.
Curing colds and flus is one solution; however prevention is a much more important. For advice and guidance on how to support your body from avoiding these nasty viruses and improving your health, come in and speak to one of Feeling Healthy’s naturopaths or nutritionist. Our experienced practitioners can help construct a targeted immune support specific to your own circumstances.
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