Although the weather is getting cold, what I hear most people talking about is “getting a cold.” And against popular belief, cold weather does not get people sick. Where the weather plays a factor is that when it is cold outside, you tend to stay indoors more often. This leads to being exposed to others and their germs. So in fact, if you don’t mind the cold, stay outside, you’ll be less likely to be around all of those germs inside. Just dress warm.
But if standing out in the cold by yourself doesn’t sound appealing, then we just need to protect ourselves from the spread of germs. Which also means you need to protect others from your germs as well. If you feel any symptoms of a cold, please stay home. Consider the other individuals around you, friends, family and co-workers, who could potentially fall ill. You don’t want them getting you sick, and I know they don’t want you getting them sick either.
If you have to cough or sneeze, please do so into the crook of your elbow. It seems logical now, but we used to tell people to sneeze or cough in their hands. Not a good idea. However, wash your hands with soap and water frequently for 30 seconds. Also try real hard to keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth and tell your kids do the same. Plus, keep antibacterial lotion or wipes handy.
With that, here are some suggestion to help build a strong immunity.
— Take probiotics. These are beneficial bacteria that naturally help maintain immune system wellness. They also aid in proper digestion. Wade Langley, pharmacist at Lumberton Drug, suggests the brand Bacid for adults and Vinco for children.
— Vitamin C: The humans body doesn’t make vitamin C, so it’s important we get it from other sources such as supplements, citrus fruits, or vegetables. It’s a strong antioxidant that does “housekeeping” on your cells and helps support the immune system.
— Getting your Vitamin D from sunlight isn’t always reliable, especially if you use sun block to protect your skin or your stuck inside because of the cold. Most people don’t realize that Vitamin D is mostly obtained from fortified foods, but a Vitamin D supplement can provide added support. Talk to your doctor and make sure you buy a good quality supplement.
— Zinc. This mineral is a strong antioxidant, best known for supporting prostate health, but it also happens to neutralize free radicals; it may affect the duration of a cold. You can find zinc in lots of products now, from cough drops to zinc you just spray in your mouth.
— The herbal supplement Echinacea is thought to boost the immune system, thereby lowering risk of infection. Recommended dosage is usually in cycles, not every single day.
According to Suzie Cohen, “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist,” the key to preventing illness is by saving up, like you do at the bank. She says “If you don’t put deposits into your account, then when you need money for a bill, it isn’t there. The body is essentially the same. You can’t start taking vitamins and expect your body to suddenly ward off a bunch of infectious bugs. It takes a little time and compliance.”
But just because you haven’t been taking your vitamins, don’t use that as an excuse not to start. Definitely start today and just know that you will reap the rewards for years to come.
When choosing dietary supplements, seek out brands that are committed to “science-based protocols for product development and testing.” Be sure to ask your health care professional or pharmacist what supplements are best for you, especially if you take medications. And always follow the recommended usage on the product. Don’t think you can take more for better results. It doesn’t work that way and you may do more harm than good.
Mike DeCinti can be reached at email@example.com or 910-827-2439.