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Coughs and Colds

As I am writing this article I have a box of tissues at my side and a hot drink with some honey and lemon in it trying to fight off a cold (not man flu, I would like to add).

The common cold and most coughs are caused by viruses, so your GP won’t want to prescribe any anti-biotics as they are only effective for bacterial infections.

While coughs and colds can make you feel very unwell, there’s usually no need to see your doctor unless they last for more than three weeks. You can help yourself by eating the right foods and drinking plenty of fluids to ease the symptoms and help build resistance. You need to stay hydrated, especially if you are running a temperature- a hot body sweats more and loses more fluid. Warm drinks rich in vitamin c, such as fresh orange juice or hot water with a spoonful of honey and a slice of lemon are great. Honey works wonders on a sore throat too. Choose a good quality honey, organic or fresh from a farm are the best.

Children are especially prone to coughs and colds as their immune systems are still developing. To help boost your immune system and build up resistance make sure you eat foods with plenty of antioxidant vitamins such as A, C and E. Go for green, orange, red and purple fruit and veg. Zinc is a mineral that also helps boost your immune system. It is found in all lean meats, poultry, egg yolks, fish, oats, brown rice, nuts and seeds. Some people find that dairy foods make them create more mucus, though this isn’t supported by scientific evidence.

There are vitamin supplements out there but I would always advise people to try and get all the vitamins from a good varied diet.

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