(NaturalNews) The common cold is known as one of the most prevalent infections worldwide. It is estimated that the average person contracts two to four colds per year. It has people running to drug stores and reaching for pharmaceuticals, causing further imbalance in the body, not to mention wasting money and resources. However, given a proper understanding of how the common cold works, people are able to prevent or treat this ailment in the most beneficial, and natural of ways.
Expand your awareness
A cold is classified as an upper respiratory infection (URI) and exhibits a collection of symptoms. The most common include nose and throat irritations, like a runny or stuffy nose and cough.
What limits so many people in how they approach this condition, is a lack of properly understanding it. For starters, colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses and bacteria are as different as computers and elephants. Although they have some things in common, viruses generally do not respond to measures that work on bacteria. Therefore, using anti-bacterial soaps or antibiotics, which are both intended for bacteria, is useless. Viruses are not alive in the typical sense that a cell is, therefore, we cannot 'kill' them. The best way to deal with viruses is to limit our exposure to them and have our body's immune system "disassemble" them.
Over the counter cold medications do not cure colds, they just suppress the symptoms. It is; therefore, prudent to know that going out to buy typical cold medications, anti-bacterial soaps or drugs like antibiotics, is generally a waste of money and further damage to health. The best thing we can do to manage, alleviate or decrease the chances of a cold is work on boosting our immune system - and not just when a cold strikes, but year round.
Enhance your immune system
The best way to manage a cold is to not get it in the first place. This is possible by adopting optimally healthy lifestyle habits. Eating a diet based on whole, natural plant food is key. Fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices offer the most natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to protect and strengthen our immune system. Additionally, drinking enough pure water, having regular movement, effective stress relief, exposure to fresh air and sun for optimal vitamin D levels are of key importance as well.
Rest, hydrate and 'nutrate'
When a cold strikes, the best thing we can do first for our body is to rest. This means allowing yourself to take a day or two off of work. It is the very message the cold is trying to send us - take a break. Rest helps our bodies do what they does best, offering a most efficient and quick recovery.
Next, hydrate your body with water. Well lubricated tissues are less likely to be attacked by viruses and water helps to cleanse, as well as optimize all functions.
Finally, 'nutrate' your body by ingesting lots of high quality nutrition. This is the time to avoid all processed, junk and fast food completely, and instead take in pure nutrient-dense foods from whole, natural, plant foods. Boosting nutrient levels with supplements such as vitamins C and D and zinc is also beneficial.
Choose natural immune enhancers
Lastly, nature offers many compounds to support the body's natural healing ability and enhance the immune system. Instead of cold medication with artificial colors, flavors and ingredients, opt for natural herbal or homeopathic cold relief options. From medicinal mushrooms, to the common ginger, garlic and echinacea, the diverse power of nature helps bring us back into balance.
About the author: Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN - is a consciousness expansion teacher, a natural health educator, holistic nutritionist, speaker and author of Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition. She regularly writes on her online publication Evolving Wellness whose focus is natural, wholesome, plant-based, organic nutrition and green living to achieve optimal health and longevity. She is also the founder of Healthytarian - a lifestyle based on Fresh Thinking, Smart Eating and Mindful Living. To learn more about her work, please visit EvitaOchel.com