When a cold hits! Possible causes and remedies

mixed seasonal summer fruit at alimentari fitzroy

When a cold hits! Possible causes and remedies

As if on cue, a dastardly autumn cold has hit my body and is completely trashing the place! The signs were obvious. Just as I hit publish on this new version of my little nutrition website, my sneezes tasted of a cold. A little bit of mucus on the nose is the only way to describe it!

What other signs tell you that you are getting a cold? Tossing and turning and sleeping lightly with more treacherous dreams is one. I often wake up super early when I am sick and can’t go back to sleep. Then, of course, is the body aches and chills.

How to ward off a cold?

To my knowledge the best antidote to colds and flu is vitamin C, honey, garlic, ginger and of course paracetamol or some other pain killer. I guess that some people swear by pseudoephedrine or cold and flu tablets, but taking these can have unsavoury effects. For me, they did awful things to my sleep, so I might stay away.

It does make me realise that it can be important to nourish yourself year round with good food so that your immune system does not let the bugs in. On reflection, it would have been perhaps better to drink a vitamin C rich green smoothie regularly. When illness hits, you might find that you crave oranges, kiwi, spinach and celery juice more than anything else!

Considerations and trade-offs of a low carb diet

It is interesting to consider that perhaps there are some trade-offs with a low carb diet. One of these problems, that needs to be addressed is eating less fruit. Even on a CSIRO based diet with lots and lots of vegetables, this kind of diet may not provide sufficient vitamin C and protective vitamins. It would be even worse, I think if your version of low carb diet includes meat and protein but not an abundant source of vegetables.

It is definitely tricky, and to be honest, I am not sure that humans have really got to the bottom of a diet that both nourishes, protects from disease and wards off obesity. At least, for some proportion of the population, this may be an issue.

Vegetarian diets may lead to more prevalent illness?

Recently, I started eating grains again, because I wanted to eat more vegetarian foods, but this has had a bit of a negative effect on my waistline measurements and the scales. Now, I am faced with this cold. It might be caused by a lack of meat eating, or it might be a lack of vitamin C. As is the case in science, it is impossible to draw a conclusion unless just one variable is changed.

I do recall that as I sat down to my vegetarian lunch plate yesterday, I got a distinct sense that my body needed more, and perhaps this is because a cold is brewing. The zinc and complete protein in meat can help to heal cells and illness.

What to do to ward off a cold this winter?

I would suggest regularly drinking a green smoothie with orange and kiwi during the autumn and winter months. I would also suggest drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon each morning, for the vitamin C. It might also be that when you are sick, some meat would be very healing (as much as that may turn your stomach). Chicken soup is one of the best things you can eat for a cold, for the zinc and calories. One last thing! Keep a packet of your go-to pain killers on hand. They will help with the aches and pains of a cold.

I sincerely hope you don’t get sick this year, but if you do, get in touch and tell me more about your diet! I don’t have resources to do a whole longitudinal study, but anecdotal evidence is interesting too! What are your experiences? Get in touch or leave a comment below!

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