Flu: Expert reveals differences between flu and common cold
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Are you feeling a little under the weather? It’s cold season in the UK. Could these natural supplements help fight off the common cold?
It’s that time of year again: kids start coming home from school with noses running like taps, and sooner or later, the tickle in your throat turns into a chesty cough.
Cold season is here – you may even already be nursing one.
Unfortunately, the common cold comes around every year. It’s almost inevitable that at some time or another you’ll get a nasty cold.
Famously, there’s no cure for the common cold. But, you can give your immune system an advantage over the virus by making sure it’s in excellent shape.
Taking supplements can help to keep your immune system fighting fit.
Of course, you should eat a balanced and nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
But for some people, taking a supplement is a really convenient way to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need, on top of those they get from their diet.
When it comes to the common cold, these are the six best supplements to boost your immune system and keep your body in the best shape to fight off a cold.
1- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is used by the immune system to help attack viruses, and it’s especially important at this time of year.
According to the NHS, everyone over the age of four who spends the winter in the UK should be taking a vitamin D supplement over the winter months.
This is because we don’t get enough sunlight for our bodies to create vitamin D naturally.
Some research has suggested there’s a promising possibility vitamin D can help people fight off colds, but more evidence is needed to make a conclusive claim.
2 – Zinc
Zinc is revered for its immune-boosting properties. It occurs naturally in some foods including oysters, red meat and nuts.
While zinc can’t stop you from contracting a cold, some studies have seen zinc lozenges reducing the duration of a cold by 24 to 36 hours.
If you’ve got a cold, zinc lozenges could get you back to feeling yourself sooner.
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3 – Turmeric
Turmeric is a common spice in delicious curries, and we know spicy food can help to clear your sinuses when you’ve got a cold. But for an intense dose of this golden root, why not try a turmeric supplement?
Turmeric is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammation can actually help boost your immune system.
Turmeric also has anti-viral properties, meaning it could help to stave off a cold.
4 – Vitamin C
Vitamin C was once hailed as a cure-all home remedy, including for the common cold. While a glass of orange juice will certainly help you to keep your fluids up, the jury’s out on whether vitamin C can ‘cure’ a cold.
However, studies have found taking regular vitamin C supplements can make your symptoms less severe and possibly cut your cold short.
Vitamin C deficiency can dramatically weaken your immune system, so it’s definitely worth taking a supplement if you aren’t eating enough in your diet.
5 – Garlic
Garlic contains compounds called alliin and allicilin. Allicilin is thought to give garlic its immune system-boosting benefits by enhancing your white blood cell response.
Studies have shown garlic to help reduce the risk of catching a cold in the first place, as well as making your symptoms more mild.
In one study of 146 volunteers, those who ate garlic lowered their risk of catching a cold by 63 percent.
So, either add some extra bulbs of garlic to whatever you like to cook, or take the easy (and possibly less pungent route) and introduce a garlic supplement to your daily routine.
6 – Echinacea
Echinacea is a very popular herbal supplement. Made from the daisy-like flower, echinacea is an anti-inflammatory and is full of antioxidants.
Numerous studies have shown echinacea’s positive effect on the immune system, and it’s often suggested as a treatment for the common cold.
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