Combating the common cold

This year, approximately 62 million people will require medical attention for treatment of their cold and cold symptoms. The groups most affected by this illness are children and elderly because their immune systems are not strong enough to combat the cold.

One way to reduce the duration of a cold and decrease antibiotic use is to take zinc lozenges at the beginning of a cold. Zinc helps to decrease cough and runny nose along with other cold symptoms. Studies have shown that people who consume zinc lozenges on a regular basis reduce their frequency of colds. It is recommended that females take in 12 mg and males take in15 mg of zinc in their diet each day. The body cannot make zinc, so it must be consumed in the diet. Other good sources of zinc include high protein foods like beef, pork and chicken. A vegetarian diet must get zinc from supplements because fruits and vegetables are not high in zinc.

Another preventive measure is to take Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system and reduce the length and severity of colds. The recommended amount of Vitamin C to take each day is 75 mg for females and 90 mg for males (add 40 mg if you smoke). To increase the amount of Vitamin C in your diet, eat more green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Vitamin C is present in small amounts in many foods including fish and milk.

Taking precautions and keeping yourself healthy with a balanced diet and exercise is the best way to have a wonderful winter.

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591 Byron Avenue Ottawa, Ontario
K2A 4C4

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FAX: (613) 288-2226

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