I often catch colds whenever I have been stressed for a long time and finally gives my mind and body a break. So I actually see it as a good sign when it comes - that means that my body sees a chance to relief itself from whatever bacteria's it has been fighting against. However, that does not mean that I enjoy having it.
About two years back I started to educate myself in what kind of food that supports the immune system. I practised it whenever I felt a cold coming, and I was amazed over how well it worked against it. Ever since I started to focus on what I eat when I feel the cold lurking I have not actually turned ill - I usually just feel less energetic for about three days + -. So I can promise you that it is worth a try.
Unfortunately there is no miracle cure against a cold. However, there are numerous steps you can take in preventing the cold from getting any worse than it needs to be.
I remember when I was younger I saw a cold as a good opportunity to eat fast food and loads of candy. This is not how I see it today. Whenever I feel a cold coming on I try to give my body as healthy food as possible to help it fight the illness. There are certain foods that may help to maintain a strong immune system;
1. VITAMIN C
Eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods can help to increase disease-fighting antibodies. Fruit and vegetables are high in vitamin C. Peppers are a great choice as it contains three times as much Vitamin C as oranges!
Studies have shown that zinc may have a significant role to play in the prevention and allocation of colds. Brown rice, oats, nuts, seeds and dark green leafy vegetables are high in zinc.
3. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D has been linked to a reduced occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections (such as colds). Many people living in the north have low levels of vitamin D during the winter months as it is sourced mainly from sunlight. If you live in the north you should consider taking a vitamin D supplement during the winter. However, vitamin D is also found in oily fish and eggs.
4. COLD FIGHTING SUPERSTARS
Ginger is a strong antioxidant and kills bacteria. I prefer to make/buy ginger shots (a cold pressed juice consisting of ginger and lemon) as that means I consume the whole ginger rather than just drinking hot water that has been infused by ginger aka ginger tea. You should also include garlic in your diet when fighting the flu as it can boost the virus-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream.
In addition to eating healthy you should drink loads of water to keep yourself hydrated and get plenty of rest. I always cancel my plans the first day I am not feeling well, and rests instead.
You should NOT drink coffee or alcohol - these can make you dehydrated, which is not going to help you to get well. In fact that will probably just give you headaches on top of having a cold.
* I am not a doctor or a dietitian.