Episode 6: Five myths about the common cold
Published Saturday, October 27, 2012 6:00AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 3:52PM EST
On this episode of Dr. Marla & friends:
Cold and flu season is right around the corner. We've got some tips to hlep you steer clear of those irritating illnesses.
Plus, learn how to make collard greens, a food you'll savour, not avoid.
And, a technology that brings augmented reality to the operating table.
Digital Extra: The most common myths about the common cold
Fall brings glorious foliage, holidays and the pleasant sounds of leaves crunching underfoot. But the season also brings the not-so-pleasant noises of runny noses, coughing, nose blowing and sneezing -- all tell-tale signs of the common cold.
And while virtually everyone has had one, myths about how you catch and deal with a cold persist. Here are five of the most common ones:
#1 Cold weather causes colds
Colds are caused by viruses, not cold temperatures. Colds may seem more frequent in the autumn and winter, but experts say that’s mostly because cold weather drives us inside where we’re in close proximity, and it’s also when children return to school. While wrapping up for warmth may not protect you from a cold, avoiding close contact with those who are infected is a good idea.
#2 You can catch a cold if you go outside with wet hair
Forgetting to dry your hair before you step outside may make you feel the chill, but a wet head will not increase your chances of catching a cold. Again, colds are caused by viruses, so regular hand-washing and avoiding touching your face are the best ways to prevent colds.
#3 Antibiotics can treat a cold
There is no cure for the common cold, which is caused by many viruses. These viruses are relatively harmless, and colds generally go away on their own, but you can get some relief from cold symptoms by drinking plenty of fluids, resting and gargling with warm salt water. Cold symptoms typically appear within three days of the virus entering your body and last for about a week.
#4 Loading up on vitamin C can help stave off a cold
There is no evidence to support the claim that vitamin C supplements shorten colds. They can be good for you, but they don’t affect cold viruses. In fact, too much of the supplement can cause diarrhea or stomach cramps. The herbal remedy Echinacea has also not been proven to fight colds.
#5 You should avoid milk and other dairy products when you have a cold
Dairy products do not cause a build-up of mucous and aggravate your cold as many people believe. Staying well hydrated can relieve your cold symptoms, and drinking milk will not have a negative effect on your cold. In fact, what you may want to avoid is citrus juices if you have a cough, because the acids in the citrus can make your symptoms worse.
Sources: Health Canada, Medline Plus and WebMd
Collard Greens Recipe
- 1 large bunch collard greens
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 1 or 2 Shallots
- Olive Oil
- Pull out stem of collard greens and boil for 5-7 minutes.
- In separate pan, heat olive oil and shallots.
- Take collards out of boiling water and put into the pan, sauté the collards & mix ingredients.
- Add chopped almonds & enjoy!