Lemon Aid to Vitamin C off your Cold?


There’s nothing as common as the common cold. Adults are said to have 2-3 annually, school children 5-6 and pre-schoolers (whose immune systems are even more immature) often battle up to 12 so by the time that cough starts, peaks, plateaus and settles, we’re talking 24/7/365!

There are well over 200 viruses responsible for colds, and it’s not usual to be co-infected with multiple viruses simultaneously. Transmission occurs via airborne droplets, contact with infectious secretions and/or skin contact with infectees so keep washing those hands people!

 

 

Colds are self-limiting and there is no curative treatment unforch; any treatments employed aim to merely alleviate symptoms. Have a look at undertheweather.ie for sound advice on how to manage colds (as well as other everyday illnesses).

For symptomatic management of the cold, it’s a bit of ‘and whatever you’re having yourself Bridie’ as there is no robust evidence for the over-the-counter stuff many victims ply themselves with in the hope of expediting their recovery.

There is no evidence base to currently substantiate use of the following popular remedies: cough medicines, nasal steroid sprays, garlic, Chinese herbs, antihistamines (Zirtek and the like), echinacea, zinc and vitamin C, though some studies have shown that the latter two can curtail the symptomatic period and, hey, every little helps when you have a bad head cold/man ‘flu! Many obtain considerable symptomatic relief from plenty of fluids, Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen, vapour rubs, steam inhalation, nasal drops, decongestants, lozenges and honey.

If, like yours truly, you were health-conscious enough to have some class of a lemon wedge with your drink over the weekend, give yourself a nice pat on the back… The humble lemon boasts high levels vitamin C, among other micronutrients, and a quick non-faffy squeeze of lemon juice over just about anything is well worth a shot if you’re aiming to curtail your cold, not to mention boost your overall health!

 

 

 

Vitamin C is vital for many things- a healthy immune system, iron absorption, collagen synthesis, wound healing, and overall skin as well as blood vessel health, among other things. Bountiful sources include dark leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, berries, kiwis, pineapples and citrus fruits including, obvs, lemons so continue to eat the rainbow!

While I’m on the subject of lemons – having a bit of a random lemon love-in at the moment(!) – here are a few more uses for lemon juice:

  • Tenderising meat – lemon juice is great for breaking down meat fibres, leaving your cut melt-in-your-mouth tender
  • Preventing browning of fruits and vegetables; mostly avocados for me at the moment, basic b*tch that I am, but it also works a charm at keeping potatoes, bananas, apples and other fresh fruit salad ingredients fresh as daisies
  • Reviving limp lettuce – add a dash of lemon juice to a bowl water and leave in the fridge for an hour or so to rejuvenate it
  • Stopping things from clumping – add a few drops to your cooking water when boiling rice and add a pulp-free slice to your box of brown sugar

 

The possibilities are endless really…

 

And on that random note, have a great week- may your colds be brief and your festivities long!

 

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skipthescript

My name is Michelle and I’m a Dublin-based GP (family doctor). Life is short: take the minimalist approach to maximise your health!

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