Five cold 'cures' you must have in your kitchen cupboard for winter

AS we edge into the winter months, many of us are likely to get a ghastly cold.

Over the last month many people have claimed they have been suffering with a 'super cold'.

Experts have previously said that more people are likely to get respiratory illnesses this year as last year, we spent a lot of time away from others due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people therefore have also forgotten what it feels like to be ill, meaning that symptoms could feel even more severe than usual.

While you might feel as though you need a magic pill to treat or keep cold and flu illnesses at bay, experts say there are things you might already have in your kitchen cupboard that could help.

Most of the time we get all the nutrients we need from the food we consume, but one expert said that a lot of the time, a Western diet can lack key vitamins and minerals.

Emily Rollason, nutritionist at Holland & Barrett said we need to be eating a vast variety of healthy foods – but that our diets could mean we lack in vitamins and minerals that support our immune systems.

Here are the cupboard staples you need to stock up on.

1. Vitamin D

During the coronavirus pandemic Brits were urged to take vitamin D supplements as many of us were cooped up indoors.

Many people rushed out to buy the vitamin so it's likely you've got some lurking somewhere in your cupboards.

Emily said this is a great supplement to take as more people will be spending prolonged periods of time indoors due to harsh winter conditions.

"Public Health England recommends everyone in the UK aged one and over should be taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day, and this is particularly important during the winter months, when our exposure to sunlight, a natural source of Vitamin D, is far less.

“Over the festive period, the best way ensure you are getting a sufficient level of vitamin D is to take a high quality supplement", Emily said.

A 2017 British survey found that vitamin D supplements could half your risk of getting a cold or flu.

2. Vitamin C

Emily said that this is one of the best vitamins to help you stave of coughs and colds.

She said: "Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, necessary for the normal functioning of the immune and metabolic system (the system that helps the body turn the food you eat into energy). 

"Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that our bodies don’t store it, so we have to get enough from our diets every day.

“Vitamin C is well known for supporting immune function, and has been widely recommended for the winter months to aid with reducing the duration of symptoms of a common cold."

Emily explained that vitamin C is also found in lots of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, dark green leafy veg, peppers and berries. 

"Vitamin C deficiency is rare but can causes symptoms such as fatigue", she added.

3. Salt

Most of us have some form of salt in our kitchen cupboards.

While too much salt is bad for you, one expert said it can actually help you if you are suffering with a dreaded cold.

Kristoffer Ahlerup, commercial director at Enzymatica, the manufacturers of ColdZyme said: "Gargling with warm salt water can help to remove the mucus build-up in your respiratory tract and nasal cavity.

"It can also reduce inflammation and relieves the pain in the throat."

4. Honey

Whether you put it on your pancakes or have it with some yoghurt, several studies have found that honey can go towards curing your cough and sore throat.

One survey conducted by experts at Oxford Medical School found that it is actually 'superior' to other treatments as it can reduce the amount of coughing, as well as how long you suffer with symptoms for.

Joseph Lee, researcher, beekeeper and GP, from Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences said: "Since 2018 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) have recommend the use of honey to treat the symptoms of acute coughs in adults and children five years or older.

"Honey is cheap and widely available, many people will probably have some sitting in the cupboard anyway, so it’s worth giving it a try before visiting your GP.

"Of course, if symptoms are getting worse, or you feel very unwell, then contact your GP.”

5. Zinc

Zinc is found in grains, milk and meat as well as shellfish.

This mineral could help shorten the length of a cold by two days, experts at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found.

The experts also suggested that taking zinc could reduce your likelihood of catching a cold in the first place.

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