How SEX can help you beat the sniffles…and 6 other cures for a common cold

Seventy per cent of us will go down with a respiration infection every year, which can take weeks to shake off an inevitable means that everyone we live with will catch it at some point too.

In fact, according to a new study, the same number of parents believe that they've spread their bug on to their kids – resulting in sick days and miserable little ones.

But there are a few simple things you can do to bolster your immunity and protect yourself against winter lurgies.

We reveal the seven easy lifestyle hacks you can use to make yourself bug-proof:

1. Have more sex

As if you needed any excuse, one of the easiest ways to boost your immunity is to have sex.

Getting frisky between the sheets twice a week has been linked with having higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, or IgA – which can help to protect you from getting colds and viruses.

Oh, and sex is also really handy because your body produces something called oxytocin during organism, which helps your brain to release slumber-inducing chemicals to make you feel more relaxed and aids sleep…

2. Get enough sleep

…which is handy because getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining your body's immune system.

A study published last year in the journal Sleep saw researchers taking blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns and discovered that the twin who slept less had a more depressed immune system, compared to their sibling.

"Sleep is our body’s golden opportunity to rest and repair, and poor sleep is a common driver of a weakened immune system," nutritional therapist Ellie Isom told Healthista.

3. Exercise

There's some debate as to whether doing a tonne of exercise makes colds better or worse but a study from the University of Bath published earlier this year found that strenuous exercise might improve immune systems.

After exercise, the number of immune cells in the bloodstream were found to be low, and scientists concluded that it wasn't down to the fact that the immune system was struggling, but rather that these bug-busting cells were busy fighting off infection in other parts of the body.

Harvard Medical School said: "For now, even though a direct beneficial link hasn’t been established, it’s reasonable to consider moderate regular exercise to be a beneficial arrow in the quiver of healthy living, a potentially important means for keeping your immune system healthy along with the rest of your body."

4. Eat more garlic

Ellie says that garlic is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory.

She explains that the whiffy allium has been shown to help fight against various gut bugs, which "means garlic can help to support the immune system by supporting the microbial balance of the gut".

While there's "very limited research that exists on the use of garlic as an antiviral", which means that we don't know a lot about it as a prevention against the common cold, Ellie does say that "some studies are indicating that garlic can increase the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that are involved in containing and controlling viral infections".

"So, consuming garlic could be beneficial, but perhaps not the first point of call for cold prevention due to the lack of research," she adds.

5. Eat all the colours of the rainbow

Something that definitely does have more science behind it is the fact that eating a diet chock with lots of different fruit and veg means that your diet will be packed out with antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamins.

The brighter, the better.

Especially helpful are red and orange options, like carrots and sweet potatoes, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries and cherries.

Vitamin C plays a huge role in many aspects of our health.

In their book, "Eat Better, Live Longer: Understand What Your Body Needs to Stay Healthy", nutritionists Dr Sarah Brewer and Juliette Kellow recommend eating at least one orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime a day.

Dr Brewer previously told The Sun: "Citrus fruits contain antioxidant polyphenols and vitamin C which protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

"Vitamin C helps to lower cholesterol levels by promoting the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. Antioxidants in general also lower cholesterol by protecting circulating LDL (bad cholesterol) particles from oxidation so they return to the liver for recycling rather than contributing to furring up of the arteries."

It's well known that vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which can help both to prevent and fight off infection – with Ellie claiming that supplementing your diet wiht the nutrient can help to decrease teh duration of a cold by up to 1.5 days.

The peel of citrus fruits is said to contain more antioxidants than the juice so Dr Brewer recommends grating zest into our food to add both flavouring and nutrients.

"Peel is good and is where the poyphenols are most concentrated as they protect the fruit from sun damage and pest attack. I add lemon, lime and orange zest as well as juice whenever a recipe calls for juice (and often when it doesn’t too)."

6. Wash your hands

A no-brianer, the Global Handwashing Partnership says that handwashing can help prevent up to 21 per cent of colds and other infections.

Germs live on our hands, and we tend to touch our faces, noses, mouths, and eyes without even realising – despite the fact that our fingers are teeming with bugs.

Wash them regularly with three pumps of soap.

7. Take supplements

Getting enough vitamin D during the winter is notoriously difficult in this country but a major global study published in the British Medical Journal has found that supplementing it can reduce the risk of colds, flu and other dangerous respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.

Scientists from Queen Mary University, London, found that taking extra vitamin D daily or weekly vastly improved people's immunity capabilities – especially if they were quite low on it in the first place.

It's believed that around 25 per cent are vitamin D deficient in the UK, either because they don't get enough sunlight (it's harder for darker skins to absorb enough of it with our weak winter sun), or because they eat a plant-based diet.

Zinc is also a well known cold remedy, with a 2014 report concluding that taking 10-15mg of zinc sulphate was linked to preventing colds – particularly in kids.

In one of the studies in the report, the proportion of children with no colds during the study period was 33 per cent in the zinc group versus 14 per cent in the control group.

Source: Read Full Article