Fitness Tips

Articles tagged as germs (view all)

Chicken Soup for the Cold

01 January, 2014

Mom was right. Chicken soup really can help you get over a cold.

Ingredients in chicken soup have anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the movement of neutrophils into airways. Neutrophils are white blood cells that contribute to the inflammation that causes cold symptoms. Combat your next cold with plenty of rest, lots of fluids, and a bowl of homemade chicken soup.

Typical cold symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and a stuffy nose. Chicken soup may help quell symptoms in several ways. First, chicken soup contains compounds that help inhibit mucus production. In addition to chicken soup's anti-inflammatory effects, the heat and steam may help open up nasal passages. If you have a cold, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Over-the-counter cold remedies may help relieve your symptoms but they cannot cure a cold. Sipping hot chicken soup may help, as well -- a steamy bowl of chicken soup with plenty of garlic and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper will boost the nasal-clearing effects of the soup. And be sure to finish the broth; researchers determined most of the anti-inflammatory effects of chicken soup come from the liquid.


SOURCES: Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Rennard, B. O., Ertl, R. F., Gossman, G. L., Robbins, R. A., Rennard, S. I., Chest 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-1157.

Colds Hate Positive People

11 December, 2013

Dread colds? Then be a Little Miss Sunshine.

That's the word from researchers who tested the emotional outlook and immune-system capabilities of a group of adults. Cold viruses had a harder time taking hold in the people who had mostly positive things to say.

Apparently, emotions play a role in immunity. Positive thoughts not only help you steer clear of colds but also might make your colds milder if you do get sick. Good reasons to look on the bright side and to get help if you habitually feel negative, anxious, or depressed.

Of course, thinking warm, fuzzy thoughts doesn't replace good ol' cold-killing facts. So follow these sniffle-stopping tips as well:

• Wash your hands frequently, especially if you spend time with someone who is sick. And keep hand towels separate to minimize the spread of germs.

• Avoid spending time with people who are newly sick; they are most infectious during the first few days of illness.

• Eat foods high in vitamin C -- oranges, strawberries, and red bell peppers are good choices. Better yet, get a big boost of vitamin C with a supplement.

• Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.

• Get plenty of rest.

Of course, you can help other people stay healthy, too, by washing your hands after you blow your nose and covering your mouth with a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow when you sneeze. Because let's face it, what goes around comes around -- sooner or later.


SOURCES: Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza A virus. Cohen, S., Alper, C. M., Doyle, W. J., Treanor, J. J., Turner, R. B. Psychosomatic Medicine 2006;68(6):809-815.