0606 GMT February 22, 2018
One of the main differences between a cold and the more severe flu virus is that with a cold, your symptoms arrive gradually, express.co.uk reported.
Meanwhile, flu sufferers will be hit suddenly and have little or no time to prepare.
Symptoms of a cold include a sore throat, runny nose, coughs and sneezes, headache and tiredness.
Once symptoms start, there is no way to avoid the cold but people can eat the right food to help them feel better.
Dr. Adam Simon, chief medical officer at online GP service Push doctor has revealed how to handle a winter cold.
Avoid comfort food
If you’re feeling poorly, it can be tempting to gorge on your favorite comfort foods to help you feel better.
While there is an old myth that you should ‘feed a cold’, the reality is that this will probably make you feel even more unwell.
High-fat diets have been shown to slow down your immune system’s response to infection, which will make it harder to fight off infections such as a cold.
You need the nutrients provided by a balanced diet to help your recovery.
However, don’t be tempted to try a crash diet, as these have also been shown to reduce your immune system function.
Also remember that not all fat is bad. Some, such as the fats you get from oily fish and nuts, are an important part of your diet regardless of whether or not you have a cold.
A 2001 study tested 146 volunteers, half of whom were given a daily garlic supplement and half received a placebo.
The garlic group suffered just 24 colds over a 12-week period and endured 11 days of ill health due to viruses.
On the other hand, the placebo people reported 65 colds and a significantly higher 366 days where a virus prevented them from carrying out their usual activities.
It’s thought that raw garlic is the most effective here, as cooking it too much will rob you of any potential positive effects.
There are capsules available if you — understandably — don’t fancy chewing on a clove straight from the cupboard.
While chicken soup is the most commonly-prescribed, in fact any broth-based soup will help you feel a little better.
It’ll warm you up and we’ve already discussed how water and steam can help with your symptoms. However, it’s important to choose the best soup for the job.
You should avoid creamy soups, as these are higher in fat, which, as we know, hampers your immune system, and consider including some vegetables in your broth to get even more nutrients.
The chemical that gives chili peppers their spice is called capsaicin. As well as adding a kick to your dinner, there are plenty of other benefits, not least a healthy amount of vitamin C.
If you’re coming down a cold, chili peppers can ease congestion and reduce swelling around your nose and throat. It’ll also help make your mucus thin enough for your body to cough or sneeze it away.
Capsaicin is actually a fairly common medicinal treatment, although you’ll usually find it in anti-inflammatory medicine.
Honey and lemon
If a sore throat is your most troublesome symptom, honey and lemon is the way to go. It won’t necessarily speed up your recovery, but you’ll feel a lot less miserable now that your throat doesn’t feel like sandpaper!
Avoid the packets of lozenges you see in shops, as these are packed full of sugar. Instead, try a homemade honey, lemon and ginger tea which is packed full of natural ingredients and an added dose of steam to help clear your airways.
Resting is one of the best ways to help your body shake off a cold.
As tiredness is a symptom of a cold, going about your usual routine is only going to make this worse.
Water helps your immune system fight off any infection, so it’s important to stay hydrated as soon as you suspect a cold.
Drinking plenty of water will help you replace any fluids lost from constantly blowing your nose or sweating, as well as loosening any mucus at the back of your throat.