How to prevent and minimise colds. 🍊🍏πŸ₯¦πŸŒΆπŸ₯• - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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How to prevent and minimise colds. 🍊🍏πŸ₯¦πŸŒΆπŸ₯•

β€’21 Replies

Hi everyone,

It's cold and flu season in the UK and coupled with the insidious COVID which's meant lots of us have had lees human contact so are more prone to colds and flu. Here's an article from the BBC about the importance of a healthy diet to prevent and beat colds. I love the photo as its so like our banner, please see:

bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide...

I drink freshly squeezed orange juice because I really like it and its packed with vitamin C. Vitamin A is also important for a strong immune system so it would be interesting what others members did to help prevent colds.

I have organic whole milk and freshly squeezed orange juice delivered by the the milkman so I don't have to recycle tetra packs or plastic milk cartons it also all comes from a local dairy in my county so it suits my ethos on food and waste.

Exercise an d fresh air also play an important role in keeping us physically and mentally strong. So another incentive to eat well and be well.

21 Replies
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Morning Jerry, we like you try to eat as much fresh locally produced food as we can. We too have a milk man who delivers, our meat is mostly produced in East Yorkshire and veg from our garden or local farm shops. Try to avoid prepackaged food, worry that the plastic film cannot be healthy. We need to get back to eating seasonal food rather than forced fruit which has so little flavour. We are concerned about being vulnerable to colds and infections and wear our masks whenever we have to be around people. We have told people not to visit for long time with colds due to my vulnerability with CLL.

in reply to kitchengardener2

Morning Alice, you are very wise to be very cautious and I do know that you eat a very healthy diet with plenty of exercise and fresh air. So you are doing what’s best for you and really well in my opinion. 😊

I keep my distance from people who are coughing and spluttering everywhere, especially the ones who don't use a tissue or cover their mouth.

When colleagues come into work even though they are clearly sick, I ask them if they might like to go home because they are clearly not well and shouldn't feel they have to come to work. I suggest perhaps they should rest instead. I'm not too shy to point out that following this advise will prevent them infecting everyone else. If they choose to stay at work I move away and avoid them.

These steps are generally much more effective than diet for avoiding airborne and fomite illnesses. Washing my hands when I arrive at a venue works wonders to protect me and others - so many people still don't do this even after Covid.

The lack of knowledge in the general population about contagious illness has always surprised me a little. I know some incredibly intelligent and socially conscious, caring people who still swear that "going out with wet hair" is enough, on it's own, to give you a cold and "an apple a day" is enough to protect you........

I do all the things on the BCC list (except the oats and barley) but mainly for general health rather than increased immunity - increased immunity may be nice side effect though. Lot's of aspects of immunity don't rest on diet and lifestyle however.

The showering hot and cold is interesting and a new one on me...... I'm not sure I will try it as I think it would change my shower from a relaxing experience to a taxing experience.... but it would be interesting to know about the research and evidence.

Kitchengardener also makes a good point about masks - now the general public in the UK are newly conscious of their benefits why not wear them if you know you are ill and you choose or need to go out to busy places anyway, it will help to protect others.

in reply to Professor-Yaffle

Hi Professor-Yaffle obviously avoiding a virus is the solution to avoiding catching them but then we don’t build up an immunity so we need a certain amount of exposure.I also agree that it is irresponsible to be in confined spaces with others when you have a contagious virus.

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining good physical and mental health is also important for a strong resilient immune system.

So thanks for your contribution. πŸ‘

Professor-Yaffle profile image
Professor-Yaffle in reply to

Hi Jerry

Undoubtedly lifestyle has some ongoing impact on immunity. So yes, why not harness lifestyle factors to strengthen the immune system on an ongoing basis. Not disputing any of this but I am making a "yes, and" point.

Many face organic and disease related immune factors are not particularly variable and won't change a great amount because we eat a healthy diet or get more sleep. I'm not saying this to negate the role of lifestyle factors; I just want to highlight another angle.

Childhood exposure to pathogens plays quite a big role in immunity from my understanding. Not so much true with adult exposure. It seems to me, from research, that childhood psychological trauma also leaves some people immunologically challenged. We might be able to improve the situation somewhat with lifestyle and diet in adulthood.

I have a strong reaction to the idea that we "need a certain amount of exposure". I do realise you were making a measured statement and you do support the idea that we shouldn't be knowingly putting others at risk. I get that, and I also I feel compelled to say that I believe the general idea should be wherever possible to protect people from exposure to pathogens, particularly vulnerable people. I feel very privileged that in the UK we have vaccines to build immunity for a collection of serious viruses, so most of us (the ones who are lucky enough that our immune systems respond well to vaccines) thankful don't have to experience getting ill and risk dying in order to "build some immunity". I also feel grateful to have clean water and basic health and safety legislation and practices to protect us from exposure to all sorts of pathogens and other harms.

In terms of common colds; as far as I understand, as adults, catching a cold will usually stop you catching that particular coronavirus or rhino virus (for that year at the very least, and usually for quite a few more years)... that's all. There are plenty more out there still to catch. There is other stuff about cold viruses, they change, we can't become immune. Better to not catch it if possible and if we do catch it, let's not spread it, if possible. Of course we can't stop winter viruses dead in their tracks and end their circulation by means of learning to be considerate towards each other; but we can go a long way towards protecting each other. Some people are actively really not wanting to be "exposed" so they can "build their immune systems" because they know they are very vulnerable.

We still don't really know, and haven't categorised, all the things that cause common colds, we know some, but it's not a case of; exposure = increased immunity to cold viruses generally or indeed increased general immunity.

Sometimes the things that don't kill us DON'T make us stronger.

On reflection, the "we need exposure for healthy immune systems" argument has become very loaded during the pandemic, and it has often been misused to the detriment of vulnerable people, hence my strong reaction.

In terms of public health information, I do think we are in danger of believing myths such as the "apple a day" "don't go out in the cold" stuff, at the expense of learning how viruses really spread and addressing issues such as government messaging around our individual responsibilities vs social responsibility and taking care of others.

Excuse typos and gramma please.

Agree with all you say here Professor-Yaffle, I was born with a CF type lung condition, no amount of exposure improves my immunity, I’ve tried it and end up seriously ill for months.

Not a pleasant subject but because I have to drink copious amounts of water, I do on occasions need to use public conveniences. I am meticulous in spreading paper over the seat use extra paper to open doors and throughly wash my hands. However, I am horrified when people come out of a cubicle and walk straight out without washing their hands. My husband says that the same is evident in the Gents and you don't have to be a brain of Britain to know that if a man is in a cubicle, he is there for a 'reason '.

I hear you kitchengardener! I am very familiar with the dance, after I have washed my hands, to get out the public toilet without touching anything πŸ˜‚

Best of luck in your endeavours.

Fran182716 profile image
Fran182716Prediabetic in reply to Professor-Yaffle

I’m still carrying a small hand sanitiser in my pocket or bag, sometimes it’s impossible to get out of the public toilet without touching door handles etc and that undoes your hand -washing !

I remember once someone went on Dragon's Den with a bit of plastic that you use to hook a handle and open it so you don't have to touch itπŸ’‘I think it must be a common dilemma as all the Dragons could relate. However they thought it wouldn't be nice to put the bit of plastic back in your pocket or bag. They also said just use tissue and they were advocating for bins by the door for this reason. It's a funny old world hey?

I totally agree with you that people should not spread colds, flu and other bugs around their workplaces and public transport. Unfortunately there is a culture in many workplaces which encourages people to come in to work and spread their germs. Many workplaces are so chronically understaffed that having a a person off makes it truly difficult to maintain the service and as a result staff members come under considerable pressure to turn up and work if they possibly can. This pressure can be both subtle and overt from management and colleagues.In addition many workplaces have a policy of not paying their staff for the first three days of sick - those of course are the very three days when you should stay at home and not spread your germs. If you stay at home on the first three days of sickness and thus don't spread your cold/flu/sickness bug to your colleagues you will not be getting paid!!! Naturally this is a major driver for many (poorer) employees to turn up to work while sick and spread germs, most likely having also used public transport and spread germs there too..

It is absolutely beyond me how this practice is allowed and personally I believe the relevant authorities should decree that employers must allow (and pay) sick employees to isolate when at their most infectious, It has always been wrong, and during a pandemic it is scandalous!

Agree 100% sunny369.

Some employer practices in the UK are absolutely shocking! I'm in favour of a massive shake-up of employment law in this country.

..... and I also actively support the move for a standard 4 day week. Let us take back our lives for joyful pursuits!

Anyway, I'm not sure we are meant to do politics/economics here..... I don't want to shake things up too much πŸ˜€

Thanks for the link to the article. I’m not sure about the cold shower though! It’s great you get fresh juice delivered to your door. I would love that 🍊 I wonder if there’s a gadget to make fresh juice at home πŸ€”There probably is! There are gadgets for most everything these days. I should look 🍊

in reply to HungryHufflepuff

Hi thanks HungryHufflepuff you can buy juicers, so yes they do make lots of gadgets. 🍊😊

I’m very pleased to get fresh local organic milk delivered a real bonus.

HungryHufflepuff profile image
HungryHufflepuff in reply to

Thank you, I’ll look at juicers. I drink lots of orange juice, never from concentrate, but even so I’m not too sure how pure it is. Personally I don’t use dairy milk, but for people that do, it’s great to get local organic milk delivered to your door in glass bottles. πŸ₯›

I'm being pretty contrary today.

There have been a lot of studies about vitamin C (supplementary and/or taken through orange juice or other dietary sources) if you look at all the studies and particularly the overarching reviews of the studies there is no evidence that higher (or lower) intake of vitamin C helps with common colds if taken after infection. It is a persistent societal myth though. Making sure your diet has sufficient vitamin c on a daily basis (before infection and on an ongoing basis) may have a very small impact on recovery time according to some studies or no impact at all according to other studies. It seems this largely depends on whether you are an endurance athlete or not - if you are a mountain climber or frequent marathon runner or something, then Vitamin C seems to be a little useful for fighting common cold. I'm not linking to the studies but they are easily googleable. Particularly the Cochrane reviews which are somewhat well respected in some circles.

I'm not all like "studies, research, evidence, science" all the time, although they are importantπŸ€“. Often research studies are badly designed and don't mean that much.... not always though....

Also.... in support of vitamin C rich stuff when we are ill..... associations from childhood such as orange juice when we are ill (for me it was lemon juice and hot water) and our strong societal adherence to apparent myths, are two factors which have been assumed to create a placebo affect which is both nice and useful. πŸ‘πŸ‹πŸŠπŸ€§.

I agree that diet and exercise is important but the most effective way to protect yourself from infection is handwashing with soap and water, and I mean proper handwashing. When I was working we would wash our hands between every patient so they could sometimes get dry so a good hand moisturiser is also important.

With the increase of alcohol hand gel I worry that it is taking over the proper practice of handwashing. It's an important part of a healthy daily life, especially before preparing food and eating with your fingers.

in reply to happytulip

Hi happytulip I agree about hand gels and good hygiene as it’s also important to keep surfaces clean like door handles and light switches rather than just insulation our hands with gel.

So it’s good hygiene and diet. 😊

Hi I remember getting orange juice from our milk man as we were going out the door on our way to school . That was a long time ago . Happy memories :)

in reply to tallmama

Nice happy memories tallmama 😊

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