Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~Oprah Winfrey
Rapid weather changes always seem to give people the sniffles. Our recent 30F to 60F to 40F degree temperature swings probably didn't help. Fortunately, there are some tried and true ways to ward off or shorten a cold, and a new study has added another weapon to the pantheon: ZINC!
MindfulEats is a fervent believer in the power of Vitamin C and chicken noodle soup. We kind of poo-poohed zinc, but maybe it's time to check it out.
A review on the medical research on zinc shows that if you take zinc within 24 hours of the first runny nose or sore throat, it can reduce the length of a cold by an average of a day and severely reduce symptoms. We're convinced that Vitamin C does the same thing, so maybe it's time to double up with zinc. Anyway, if you're as annoyingly whiny about being sick as we are, it's something to try. The recommended zinc dosage is 13 milligrams every three to four hours for four days, which results in 50-65 milligrams a day. If it works for you, then you've got a new tool in your arsenal!
What to do - Quash a Cold (Revised from first Quash Your Cold post)
- Admit you have a cold. This is the first and most important step. Don't lie to yourself and pretend you don't. If you have a slight sore throat or sniffles, that's not normal - it's an incoming cold. You can't prevent it if you don't admit it.
- Load up on Vitamin C. 2,000 mg after breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed. Yup, that's 8,000 mg a day. And as much citrus as possible on top of the vitamins. C has fervent advocates (Linus Pauling took 6,000-18,000 mg per day) and ballyhooers. It's necessary for your body's function and is essential for healing wounds. There are many C skeptics that do not think it helps colds and think high doses are toxic. Vitamin C is water soluble, which means your body eliminates what it does not use through urine. C works for us and is the most important part of our regimen for killing a cold. We take megadoses when I'm sick, but don't take it as a supplement otherwise.
- Try zinc. Have 13 milligrams on the same schedule as the Vitamin C, for a total of 50-65 milligrams a day. Lots of Vitamin C tablets include zinc, or you can try lozenges or syrups.
- Eat chicken soup. It works. The University of Nebraska published a study in 2000 that demonstrated efficacy. Even out of a can.
- Drink lots of water. You're getting dehydrated, so drink up.
- Make hot herbal tea with lots of lemon and honey. You can also try the Taiwanese remedy of just hot water, lots of lemon and honey.
- Exercise. You might be fatigued, but we find moderate exercise seems to clear the congestion. So do these studies.
- Go to bed early. Your body needs the rest.
- Figure out what works best for you, and use it as a blueprint everytime you sense a cold coming on.
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