Calm your cold with these top tips!
Tackling a Winter cold usually involves a warming cup of honey and lemon and an extra large duvet. But when all your go-to remedies seem to be doing nothing to ease the sniffles, it’s time to try something new.
Here are some of the most surprising ways to take you from flagging to fighting fit in next to no time.
Spending time with your pooch
It seems that dogs are man’s best friend for more than one reason. In fact, spending some quality time with your four-legged friend could provide a vital boost to your immune system. One study showed a significant increase in the immune cell IgA after petting a dog. Just the excuse we needed for a night in cuddling up to our furry companions.
When it comes to beating a cold it seems that hot baths could be out, and cold showers in. Shona Wilkinson, Nutritonist at Superfooduk.com, explains more:
“A simple way to change your existing routine is to change the temperature of the water to either hot or cold every two minutes. This works by increasing two types of white blood cells called Monocytes and Lymphocytes. The immune system is stimulated by your body trying to warm itself up from the cold water, while switching to hot water every now and then stimulates your body’s detoxification system. The fewer toxins we have in our body, the more your immune system is better able to deal with bacteria and viruses.”
Chomping on chocolate
We rarely need an excuse to reach for our favourite chocolate bars, but if we did then this would be it. A study presented at the British Thoracic Society’s winter meetings in 2012 found the chocolate chemical to be more effective than codeine when treating a chronic cough. This idea was also backed more recently by Professor Alyn Morice from Hull University – a self-proclaimed ‘coughing expert’ and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough. He cited a recent study involving 163 patients which showed that cocoa was more effective than standard remedies for easing coughs.
“The head-to-head comparison found that patients taking the chocolate-based medicine had a significant improvement in symptoms within two days,” he says.
Move over honey and lemon, there’s a new kid in town!
Ease with cheese
Cheese-boards, fondue, cheese and pineapple on a stick…no festive season celebration would be complete without this dairy delight. And now studies have shown that cheese and other dairy products contain conjugated linoleic acid – a natural component of dairy fat that boosts our immune system’s response. A sprinkling of Parmesan anyone?
“A rub, a hug, and a passing touch all decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Cortisol decreases your immune response, so snuggle up to a loved one and enjoy the immune boosting properties of an embrace!” says Shona.
Socialising IS good for you
A night out with the girls could do more than lift your spirits. According to John P. Richie, Jr., Ph.D of Penn State University School of Medicine, it can also boost your immune system. Explaining further he said:
“Make sure to include daily stress management techniques in your schedule – even if it is just a few minutes. These techniques, like exercise or socializing with friends and family, are critical to strong immunity.”
So which one of these winter cold tips would you try at home? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.
Soothe with soundtracks
Listening to your favourite tunes, could help you tune up according to nutritionist Cassandra Barns:
“Soothing yourself with music, whatever your tastes may, activates the same feel good part of the brain as sex and food and increases the amount of Natural Killer immune cells in your blood. Better still, is making your own music. Musicians have even higher amounts of immune cells.”