Over the last week, just like a large number of people in town I was struck by the dreaded flu.
What is the difference between a cold and a flu?
The flu and cold both affect the respiratory system, however are caused by different stains of viruses.
The flu often has more severe symptoms and longer duration and leaves the suffer with temperatures, exhaustion and body aches where as colds are milder in nature, often present with coughing and sneezing, resolve in a few days and rarely result in serious illness.
Here are a few common myths about cold and flus.
Vitamin C can stop you from developing a cold
There is no evidence that vitamin C will help you prevent a cold, but it maybe helpful in speeding up the recovery process.
The evidence isn’t clear on what actual dose is required to overcome a cold.
However, a diet high in vitamin C containing foods such as capsicum, kiwi fruit, oranges, strawberries and papaya has shown to be highly beneficial.
Chicken soup soothes the soul
When I’m sick, there is nothing better than a homemade soup.
A study at the University of Nebraska showed that homemade chicken soup can have certain anti-inflammatory benefits, which ease common symptoms of a cold.
Feed a fever, starve a cold
Being sick can leave you with a poor appetite, but starving yourself may actually slow down recovery.
Your body is like a car, both need fuel to run. For this reason, starving yourself makes it harder for your body to function effectively and fight off infections.
Try having small frequent meals, this can be a piece of toast with a cup of homemade soup, stewed apples with custard or even just scrambled eggs – something is always better than nothing. It’s also important to note that research shows that milk is NOT associated with an increase in mucus production and therefore does not need to be avoided when you are congested or suffering from a runny nose.
This is just general advice; if you are concerned about your health please see your GP or other health professional.