As we head into the fall and winter seasons—the time of year when you are most likely to catch a cold—you are probably looking for ways to stay healthy. Like many people, you may be wondering whether taking a daily multivitamin could help prevent illness.
Some studies suggest that it can! While it’s always important to eat a balanced diet, certain supplements present in multivitamins have been shown to help prevent the onset of cold symptoms, including:
- Vitamin C – This vitamin supports the formation and function of immune cells, as well as the physical barriers that help guard against pathogens. You can also boost your vitamin C intake by eating citrus fruits (such as grapefruits, kiwis, lemons, and oranges), bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries, and white potatoes.
- Vitamin D – This vitamin helps regulate immune cells during the course of an infection. Vitamin D is naturally found in beef liver, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, swordfish, and tuna. Also, be sure to look for cereals, orange juices, and dairy products that have been fortified with vitamin D.
- Zinc – This mineral supports optimal immune system function. To increase your zinc levels through your diet, consider eating more beef, legumes, nuts, pork, poultry, seeds, shellfish, and whole grains.
Not only can taking a daily multivitamin containing these supplements help you avoid getting a cold in the first place, but if you do fall ill, it may help reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms. It is important to note, however, that supplements like the ones listed above tend to be most effective when taken before the onset of symptoms. If you start taking them after you have already developed a cold, you likely will not experience as many benefits.
Additional Steps to Take to Avoid Catching a Cold
Using daily multivitamins is a great first step to take toward maintaining your health, but if you want to do everything you can to ward off illness, you should also:
- Minimize contact with sick people
- Wash your hands regularly using proper handwashing techniques
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep (adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night)
- Take steps to reduce your stress levels
What to Do if You End Up Getting Sick
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, sometimes you still end up catching a cold. The common cold can usually be treated at home, but you should reach out to a medical provider if your symptoms last more than nine days or you start experiencing severe symptoms like a high fever, ear pain, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.
Jovive Health offers treatment for the common cold and various other non-life-threatening illnesses at its clinics in Cameron Park, CA; Chicago, IL; Lombard, IL; and Henderson, NV. We are open seven days a week, accept walk-in patients, and offer convenient same-day reservations. Visit the location nearest you today for prompt cold treatment.