Prevent Winter Colds With 6 Natural Strategies

by lnmorrow

Winter colds are around the corner.  Keep your family well and the germs at bay with these natural strategies.

  1. Sleep.  7 hours of restful sleep each night is the best way to prevent a cold.  Recent studies say those who get less are 3 times more likely to get sick.  Sleep regulates the release of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates cells that boost the immune system, says Dr. William Ellert, chief medical officer of the Phoenix Baptist Hospital. And a well-tuned immune system is crucial for defending against the cold virus.
  2. Exercise. 30-90 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week will reduce your chance of getting a cold by increasing immune function.  Notice the word moderate…that is important, because high intensity can up your chances of getting sick according to a study done by the Appalachian State University in North Carolina.  Don’t be afraid to exercise if you get a mild head cold.  Exercise can actually help you recover faster with a mild cold.
  3. A hot/cold shower. Once you are finished showering… crank up the heat and stand under the hottest stream you can take for 30 seconds, then do the same with cold for 10 seconds.  Repeat 3 times, ending in cold.  The change in temperature will jump-start your immune system, says Donielle Wilson, a naturopathic doctor in New York City.  A steamy hot shower will keep you breathing easy and clear out viral bugs from your nose.
  4. Oysters. That’s right, oysters.  These little guys pack more mineral zinc than any other food.  Zinc supports and enhances your immune system.  One oyster = 13 milligrams of zinc.  Zinc is helpful at the onset of a cold and can reduce your sick time, think zinc lozenges.  Can’t stomach oysters, try baked beans or pumpkin seeds.
  5. Vitamin D. People with low levels of Vitamin D (regulates the immune system) are more susceptible to catching colds.  There is evidence that the RDA is too low, experts say to increase daily dose to 1,000-IU if you are taking supplements.  Best natural sources are, of course, the sun or fatty fish like salmon.
  6. Nasal Rinse. Use a Neti pot to cleanse the nasal passage with a saltwater solution.  A daily wash sweeps away bacteria, viruses, and irritants from the respiratory tract.  This is actually not bad, I have tried it:)  But, if pouring water in your nose scares you, then try a saline nasal spray.

What do you think?  Will you give it a try?

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