The Common Cold, photo by Evah SmitEvery year, the common cold wreaks havoc on people around the world, ruining plans and spreading like wildfire from person to person. In order to prevent a cold from putting you out for a few days, you must maintain a healthy immune system and form proper living habits to stay healthy and well during "cold season." Though there is no cure for the common cold, there are ways to both manage it and avoid it altogether through healthy living habits and regular chiropractic visits.


Proper hand washing techniques are key to avoiding the common cold. Not only should you wash your hands after using the restroom, but also after shaking hands, touching frequently handled surfaces and after leaving public places. Be sure to wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap for at least 30 seconds before rinsing with water. Furthermore, avoid high levels of stress, as this can weaken the immune system and make it easier for cold viruses to overwhelm your body. Get plenty of rest and make time to relax to keep stress at bay.


Certain dietary vitamins and supplements are known to help stave off and even clear up symptoms of the common cold. Vitamin C is the most popular vitamin used to prevent colds, and it can be consumed in a variety of foods or in individual tablets found at most grocery and drug stores. In addition to vitamin C, antioxidants are equally important in avoiding the common cold. Antioxidants help protect cells in the immune system from free radical damage, thus allowing them to maintain a healthy defense against cold viruses. Use zinc and beta-carotenes to help nourish your cells, and treat current cold symptoms with Echinacea, licorice and goldenseal.


Eat a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods help keep your body's immune system performing at its best. During the winter cold season, many people tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables in favor of more sugary foods and "comfort foods." Keep track of your daily eating habits, and incorporate plant-based foods into every meal. Don't forego meats and proteins during the cold season, however, as they provide amino acids, iron and zinc. Opt for lean meats, such as chicken and fish, rather than red meats that can be high in saturated fats.


Your chiropractor could be one of your greatest tools in avoiding the common cold this season. The change in seasons, as well as other environmental factors, can place stress on the central nervous system. Because the central nervous system helps regulate the body's ability to adapt to changing seasons and other bodily stresses, any weakening of this system can mean greater susceptibility to colds and other viral attacks. Regular chiropractic visits can help keep the spine in proper alignment, which leads to a healthy central nervous system and a better immunity defense system in your body. Be sure to make an appointment with your chiropractor at the beginning of cold season, and maintain regular visits throughout the season according to a schedule recommended by your chiropractic office.