A cold is a very common illness that affects most people at least once in their lifetime, and many suffer from it at least once a year, usually in the winter. Colds are not dangerous and they go away on their own after several days, but they are frustrating and discomforting, so it is natural that everyone wants to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Here are five easy steps that are proven to be very efficient in getting rid of a cold quickly and relatively easily.
The first step is to get plenty of rest. This means taking a day off from work or from school and to refrain from any strenuous activity. Staying in bed, napping a lot and sleeping all through the night is very important because the body needs as much rest as it can get in order to defeat the virus. It is also recommended to try to avoid any emotional stress as well.
Common colds are caused by a virus, and they are contagious. Therefore it is important to wash the hands frequently, especially after sneezing or blowing the nose. It is recommended to use disposable paper tissues to cover the nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing and for blowing the nose. The tissues should be thrown away immediately. All glasses, mugs, cups and utensils should be used only once and then washed with detergent and hot water. This will not only protect the others from getting the cold, but it will also prevent re-infection of the person who is already sick.
People suffering from a cold usually do not feel like eating anything at all, but the body needs nutrients to heal and they should come from a well-balanced and rich diet. The diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, soups, especially chicken soup, and generally foods that are rich in protein but easy to digest. Sweets and fatty foods should be avoided.
Colds can dehydrate the body and it is vital to drink plenty of fluids. The body needs fluids to metabolize the food and to fight the virus. It is best to drink plenty of plain water and herbal teas and to avoid beverages containing caffeine, like coffee, tea and some types of sodas, because they have a diuretic effect. Alcohol should be avoided too, not only because it dehydrates the body but it also damages the immune system.
There is a controversy surrounding the use and the benefit of supplements to get rid of a cold. Some think that vitamins and minerals cannot help, while others claim that large amounts of vitamin C and zinc increase the body’s ability to fight the virus, boost the immune response and accelerate the healing process. In any case, if taken in prescribed amounts, supplements cannot do harm, which is why most people take them when they are sick.