When it's cold and flu season, it can seem like every cough and sneeze is out to get you. Washing your hands often and getting the flu shot are two simple habits that can prevent you from getting a virus, but arming yourself with a few more cold-preventing items will take your immune-boosting habits up a notch. Here are four things you should always have on hand to help prevent a cold.
- Zinc: Taking zinc has been proven to significantly shorten the duration of your cold, so pop a few zinc tablets as soon as you feel a sore throat coming.
- Water: Don't go anywhere without your reusable water bottle; drinking water prevents dehydration, and while studies haven't definitively proven that drinking more fluids prevents colds, staying hydrated does keep you from feeling worse. Gargling plain water can also reduce your risk of getting a cold by 36 percent.
- Fresh fruit: Don't want to get sick? Grab an apple or orange instead of a less-nutritious snack. Fruits are chock-full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, which all help boost your immune system.
- Hand sanitizer: Nothing works better than frequently washing your hands, which is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, but if you don't have a sink and soap nearby, hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
What's your best cold- or flu-preventing tip?