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Kick a Cold – Vitamins

To wrap up the Kick a Cold series, we must talk a little about vitamins.

We’re not going to spend a lot of time talking about vitamins, because for the most part I don’t believe in supplements (heresy, I know!) but would prefer to get my vitamins through the whole foods I eat.

One thing to keep in mind about taking vitamin supplements is to research the brand well. Most vitamin companies purchase the actual vitamin rather than performing the extraction themselves, and a surprisingly lot of companies purchase these pure vitamin powders from China.

Unless you’ve been hiding under the covers lately, it has been hard to ignore the consumer safety horror stories emerging about some products coming out of China. Toxic melamine in pet food. Poisons in toothpaste. Shredded cardboard in sticky buns being passed off as pork. Lead paint on children’s toys. In May of this year, China executed its Food and Drug Chief, Zheng Xiaoyu. Yes, I said EXECUTED! Killed for failing to provide enough oversight over this enormous developing economy. No “Great job, Brownie!” there! Nope. Scary things happen in this world.

Getting your vitamins from whole foods is unquestionably safer than ingesting potentially toxic substances being passed off as vitamins. For instance, it has long been known that Vitamin C can help boost the immune system and help stave off or recover from a viral infection. Great. You can take a vitamin C supplement, or you can load up on citrus fruits (grapefruits are just arriving in stores!), kiwis (contain more vitamin C than oranges!), and strawberries. This past summer a friend baked us a strawberry pie right when we were all fighting a summer head cold. I told her it was the best cold-fighting food I’d ever eaten! I’ll have to get the recipe and share it here.

I love the Odwalla C-Monster juice for a huge load of vitamin C — yummy!

Zinc has also been recently touted for it’s curative properties. I’m a bit wary of the zinc sprays as I’ve heard stories of permanent loss of smell from them (urban myth? I don’t know, but it’s enough to make me think twice about using them), but I love to give my kids the zinc lollypops to suck. Not only does a lollypop feel like a treat when you’re sick, but sucking slowly allows the candy to move down the throat and soothe a cough.

Many vitamins cannot be absorbed without the presence of Vitamin D. What’s the best way to get vitamin D? Expose your skin to sunshine! Try to give un-sunscreened skin at least 10 minutes of sun exposure at least 3x per week to absorb vitamin D. Not only is it free and safe (most people won’t burn in 10 minutes), but raising your vitamin D levels will often help you feel happier and sleep better at night. And have stronger bones, too, as vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption.

OK, I think we’ve covered this Kick a Cold series pretty extensively. Sorry about the lack of photos recently, but I’m blogging on a new computer and have yet to get everything set up perfectly to upload photos. Now, on to other topics. Stay healthy out there!

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