You’ve likely heard it before; Vitamin C is the best medicine during a cold, along with a lot of rest and liquids. The question is, why is Vitamin C the automatic go-to suggestion for someone suffering from a cold? It turns out that the lack of Vitamin C could contribute to causing a cold in the first place.
In addition, scientists are learning that excessive sugar in your diet could make you more immune to catching a cold as well. You may notice that kids start getting sick right after Halloween and Christmas when candy eating has been at an all-time high. While the holidays are a fun time to indulge, it’s important to make sure that you are cutting back on the sugar and keeping up on your Vitamin C needs. Take a look at how these two areas affect your likelihood of catching a cold this winter.
The Effect of Vitamin C and Sugar on your Immune System
If your mom told you to take Vitamin C when you caught a cold growing up, it’s because she knew that Vitamin C is associated with supported your white blood cell function being an antioxidant. Since it’s essential to have a healthy white blood cell function for a proper immune system, things that affect this part of your body need to be considered when you catch a cold.
One thing that that keeps this part of your body healthy is Vitamin C and one thing that inhibits your white blood cells from working properly is sugar. Through the process of phagocytosis, your white blood cells aren’t able to attack bacteria and viruses as well due to excessive sugar.
How do I avoid this?
If you’re concerned about your sweet tooth around the holidays, along with your forgetfulness to seek out healthy choices containing Vitamin C between all of the holiday dishes you enjoy, there are still ways to enjoy the best of both worlds. While overindulging in sweets, alcohol, and carbs is a popular choice over the holidays and chilly winter season, it’s important to remember that life is all about enjoying things in moderation. Limiting your sugar intake is the best choice you can make this year.
You’ll be tempted by delicious chocolate candy, your favorite holiday breads, alcoholic drinks to ring in the New Year, and more, but all of these items contain hidden sugars that can make excessive intake all too easy.
Make sure to choose a favorite dish, treat, or drink and enjoy it with some healthier options. Bake your own holiday treats for your next party that contains natural sweeteners like fruits. Choose drinks like wine or liquor with very little sweet mixers added, rather than mixed drinks and beer. Try to limit the egg nog and enjoy a bit more water this season to make up for the other treats you’re already enjoying.
Along with limiting your sugar intake and increasing water to allow your white blood cells to function normally during the cold season, it’s a good idea to incorporate plenty of Vitamin C foods into your daily diet. The more you can prepare your body for fighting against viruses and bacteria, the less likely you are to catch a bug. Choose the vitamin and nutrient-rich foods this season more than ever to fight off the likelihood of catching an infection from anyone carrying it that may not even know it yet.
Use these tips to make sure you are staying healthy this season with primarily focusing on limiting sugar and increasing Vitamin C before a bug can get into your system.