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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

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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