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Why You Should Go For Vitamin D But Not Vitamin C To Prevent The Common Cold

Why You Should Go For Vitamin D But Not Vitamin C To Prevent The Common Cold

When it comes to vitamins, it can all be a bit confusing as to which ones help prevent which ailment. However, there are some vitamins we can all rely on to know their purpose and preventable abilities, such as vitamin C which is well known for being the best for supporting us through colds and flu. But is this entirely true? Is there a more effective vitamin that can help with preventing us from catching colds and flu?

If latest research is anything to go by, the answer is yes and it may be surprising to hear that it’s actually vitamin D. Our ideas of vitamin D are usually synonymous with bone health which is entirely true, but it has emerged that vitamin D has been vastly underestimated in its important role of improving our immune systems.

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Vitamin C vs. Vitamin D

While getting enough vitamin C is helpful towards preventing colds, we are led to believe that we need more of it to get better and improve immunity. The real truth is, we get plenty of vitamin C in our diets. Easily obtainable and common foods such as fruits (strawberries, melon, tomatoes and citrus fruits) and vegetables (green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts) all contain high levels of vitamin C so a balanced healthy diet will supply more than enough.

On top of that, vitamin C isn’t as effective at improving our immune systems as we are led to believe. While it can help towards fighting a cold, it actually makes little impact.

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Latest studies have shown a link between low vitamin D levels and higher cases of common respiratory infections. While it’s essential for bone health, vitamin D is multi-purposeful and is thought to be much better than vitamin C in its immunity role. A study was conducted involving 19,000 participants using data from a national health survey between 1988 and 1994. It showed 36% of those with low levels of vitamin D in their blood were more likely to report having a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with higher levels.

Although these studies are just coming through and more research needs to be done, there are more and more strong links between chances of catching colds and low levels of vitamin D.

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Getting Enough Vitamin D for Our Body

The problem is that vitamin D is much harder to produce in the body. With reduced exposure to sunlight in many countries especially in the winter, a large percentage of people have a vitamin D deficiency, therefore not getting the full benefits of what vitamin D can do for their immune systems.

This is why diet and supplements are key to getting the sufficient amount of vitamin D we need in order to help prevent colds and flu more efficiently.

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Foods such as egg yolks, canned tuna, liver, cod liver oil, fortified milk, and fortified cereals can give you a boost of vitamin D along with supplements ‒ and a dose of sunlight as vitamin D forms in our skin in response to the sun’s rays (just 10 minutes is enough). While upping your vitamin D intake may help towards preventing yourself from getting sick, a consistent daily intake is needed for it to have a successful effect.

Vitamin D and The Common Cold

While more and more research is pointing to increasing your vitamin D levels to fight cold and flu, it’s important to realize that it only helps to boost the immune system and isn’t a preventative measure in itself. Living a healthy lifestyle with a varied, healthy diet and regular exercise is needed to strengthen our immunity and to ward off the nasty bugs and viruses that get into our body.

The research is promising but it has its limits as to what the ideal level of vitamin D is for supporting immune system responses to infection. All they know is that making the conscious effort to increase depleting vitamin D levels is a must for overall health. So if you want to know how to prevent a cold this winter, reach for the vitamin D instead of the vitamin C and see if it makes a difference.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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