Yesterday, I was at home with my kids (also known as the germ factory) having a wonderful Sunday Funday, and then BAM! I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I became super tired and weak, and headed for bed at 6:30 p.m. I thought, “This cannot happen! I can’t afford to be sick right now!” My kitchen is being remodeled and flooring redone and we have been living out of a microwave, camping out in one room of our house. These are desperate times, my friend. When Mama is sick, there’s no sick day for her. And when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Now, I have known for a long time that if you take zinc as soon as you have cold symptoms (within 24 hours), it may shorten the duration. So, I went to my medicine cabinet (also known as the pharmacy, because I keep one of everything in there, being the nurse practitioner that I am) and grabbed some zinc tablets. I also had a small snack since taking zinc tablets on an empty stomach will make you nauseous.
I then laid in bed and pretended to rest, even though I was secretly working. When I woke up this morning, voila! I felt totally fine. This morning, I felt the urge to share this with you, since cold season is here. Hopefully this tactic can save a few of you from a cold-induced pity party, too.
“Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.”
—Anne Wilson Schaef
Adults are plagued by colds approximately 2-3 times per year, which results in missed days at work and decreased work productivity. The common cold produces symptoms such as sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, cough, and just feeling plain old lousy. If you want to continue being the office prodigy that you are, you need to take some precautions this season. Wash your hands regularly, stay away from the drinking fountain that your sick coworker just made out with, and make sure you have zinc in your diet.
Researchers reviewed 67 studies examining the effectiveness of cold remedies and found that only zinc was beneficial. In fact, a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that 13.3 milligrams of zinc every 3-4 hours cut down the duration of colds by 50%.
Zinc is an essential mineral that keeps your immune system healthy and helps build proteins. When you’re sick, your protein needs increase. Chicken is high in zinc and protein. Mom’s old chicken soup remedy makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Here are some high-zinc foods to add or keep in your kitchen:
•Shellfish: oysters (Have the highest amount of zinc out of all foods!)
•Meats: beef, lamb, and chicken
•Kefir or yogurt
P.S. All of this good advice can’t replace your doctor. He or she knows you better than I do, so make sure to pay him or her a visit if you’re feeling really lousy or if symptoms persist.