12 Ways to Avoid Colds this Holiday Season

12 Ways to Avoid Colds this Holiday Season

woman drinking orange juice

1. Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 26 seconds.


2. Keep your hands away from your face.


3. Eat foods high in vitamin C or take vitamin C supplements. (examples: oranges, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, sweet peppers)


4. Reduce or avoid refined sugar.


5. Take zinc supplements or eat foods high in zinc. (examples: pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds)


6. Exercise.


7. Drink plenty of fluids


8. Get enough sleep and rest.


9. Get some sun if you can (for vitamin D), but if you can’t, then take a vitamin D supplement .


10. Eat garlic and onions (don’t worry about bad breath, chew parsley for that).


11.  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.


12.  Keep stress to a minimum.


Discussion:  Please share how you avoid colds.


Keep your immune system strong!


Image: Jeroen van Oostrom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

15 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Reut says:

    This is the first time that I hear about the 26 seconds…It’s good and important to know – Thank you!

  2. Hi Kimberly,

    That’s great! Sounds like a pretty good plan to avoid colds.

    Take care,


  3. Sheila says:

    Our mama always tell us to drink lots of water and eat fruits rich in Vitamin C to ward off colds. This is a great list. Very helpful. Didn’t know zinc helps avoid colds.

  4. david says:

    I found that taking a tablet of 500mg of controlled release vitamin C daily helped to prevent cold

  5. Is there any reason why one should wash hands with soap and water for at least 26 seconds?

    • Evelyn says:

      Hey Jupitor,

      I use to be a health inspector and that’s something that stuck with me.

      Supposedly if a person just runs their hands under water for a quick second 5-10 seconds, the chances of bacteria/viruses being removed is very low. The time it takes to say the alphabet is usually the recommended time to wash hands properly.

      But if a person washes their hands longer with friction (rubbing hands together), there is a greater chance that bacteria/viruses will be removed and resulting in clean hands.

      Thanks for the questions.

  6. I never put my daughter in daycare and I will home school. I can count the number of times that she has had a cold on one hand. But the time she was sick, was because dad brought home the germs or she was around people who had colds. So I can definitely relate.

    Take care!

    • Sandra says:

      Ha! Here I was going to suggest not having kids at home (I’m a grand parent now). I do several of the things above but the youngest granddaughter (3 yo) still brought us all the gift of a cold, poor baby.

  7. Laura says:

    I suffer from allergies which are aggravated by the holiday season. Hello cold! What I usually do is the following:

    Wash my hands AND face- it helps wake you up as well as feel less icky.

    Take really cold showers- my mom picked that up when my brother was having a febrile seizure. Cold showers can help lower body temperature and they can make you feel a lot better.

    Eating cold treats- Keep calories low by freezing juice or making homemade sorbet.

    Avoid taking too much medication- Some people rush to the doctor to get drugs to get rid of colds. However these usually resolve on their own. I never take anything for colds therefore saving some money. Prescriptions = $$$

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