BY DR LUCY PUN
Winter is here and so is the cold and flu season. Although many people get sick, there are ways to get better quick and many other ways to stay healthy and to prevent the spread of germs.
Most illness are caused by a virus, so an Antibiotic will not be effective. Antibiotics may even make things worse causing diarrhea, rash and decreasing your overall immunity. Instead, we focus on symptom reduction until your immune system is able to fight off the virus.
Here are some things you can do to help your body stay healthy through the colds:
- Wash your hands- the number one way that germs are spread is through direct contact. This is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent getting sick. If you cough or sneeze, wash your hands. Before you touch your face or eat, wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is also effective but washing with warm water and soap is always preferred.
- Eat lots of whole fruits and vegetables. Mandarins, oranges, lemons – all high in vitamin C, which helps support a healthy immune system. And it’s not just vitamin C that keeps you healthy; eating a variety of foods and cutting back on processed foods, keeps your body at optimum levels, ready to fight what gets in its way.
- Water, Water, Water! Increasing water intake helps your body get rid of the toxins formed during illness. Hydration is important to stay healthy. Some studies compared water to cough medication and showed that people who drank only water had a shorter duration of cough than those who had a cough suppressant medication. Water helps you cough up all the junk in your lungs. So drink up!
- As sweet as HONEY- honey has shown to be effective at suppressing cough in many studies, as well as helping with sore throat. It is the foundation of many cold remedies in the eastern part of the world. It has antibacterial properties as well. A teaspoon twice a day, and at bedtime can help with those coughing fits.
- Salt water gargles for a sore throat- mix one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds, 3 times per day.
- Rest and sleep-the two are important to allow your body to be able to fight off illness and promote healing. Get the rest you need and re-charge!
As with anything, stay up to date on your health by visiting your doctor regularly