Health Hacks: Tips for fighting the common cold

Welcome to Health Hacks with Doctor Mike, a weekly video series to learn the latest tips and tricks to ensure you're as healthy as can be. 

According to research, adults have an average of about two to four colds every year, with most occurring from September until late March, early April. Plus, as flu season heats up, you're going to want to take every precaution against getting sick.

In this week's episode of Health Hacks, Doctor Mike is revealing his biggest tips for preventing the common cold. It looks like grandma was right! 

1. Honey: A teaspoon of honey is sometimes better than over the counter medications at controlling your cough. If you're giving it to your kids, make sure they're above the age of one. 

2. Nasal saline rinse: The saline rinse does a very good job of clearing mucus by opening up your nasal passageways.

3. Saltwater gargle: Grandma wasn't kidding about this one. Scientific research shows it provides symptomatic relief for sore throats by pulling fluid from throat tissues.

4. Steam up: Inhaling steam opens up airways and increases circulation so that your immune cells can arrive quicker at the site of infection. 

5. Chicken noodle soup: From the electrolytes to the extra calories, chicken noodle soup does wonders for your body! 

6. Hydration: When you're sick, it's even more important to make sure your body is hydrated to make up for the loss of fluids. 

9 PHOTOS
Feed Your Cold: Foods to Ease Cold Symptoms
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Feed Your Cold: Foods to Ease Cold Symptoms

Decreasing the severity and length of your symptoms not only makes you feel better, it decreases your risk of developing a more serious illness like a sinus infection or bronchitis.

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Chicken Soup

Homemade is best, making sure to keep the sodium level down and the veggie content up. If you only have the time and energy for store bought, buy one with low sodium.

Try Chicken Soup.

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Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can help to decrease congestion.

Try Potato Horseradish Crusted Mahi Mahi.

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Garlic

Though initial studies are inconclusive, there is some evidence garlic and garlic supplements can help to prevent and decrease the duration of the common cold.

Try Garlic Chicken.

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Fruit

When you are under the weather, increase your intake of fruits rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, kiwi and tomatoes.

Try Citrus Berry Smoothie.

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Vegetables

Increasing your vitamin A intake will give your immune system a boost. Eat more spinach, broccoli and sweet potatoes for a speedy recovery.

Try Spinach.

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Mushrooms

Increasingly, white button mushrooms are being touted for their anti-viral properties. Raw or cooked, this fungi can strengthen your immune system.

Try Polenta Creamy Mushroom Sauce.

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Hot Beverages

Tea, especially with honey, can ease a sore throat and the steam and warmth will decrease congestion. Avoid caffeine as best you can.

Try Tea Time.

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Don’t take a cold lying down. A healthy diet will increase your energy level, support your immune system and improve your outlook. Avoid sugar and alcohol when you are ill. Additionally, anything helping to decrease mucous production, can shorten your suffering. Hot showers, steams, netti pots and over-the-counter decongestants are all useful in the fight against the common cold. Fight back and feel better fast!

Image Credit: Getty Images

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