There's little I enjoy more than helping someone have a new experience with food or wine.
And around the holidays, I used to be the first one to share spoons, forks, and glasses with friends and family...
And like clockwork, everyone would get sick in late November through January.
Then one year, I simply stopped...
When someone asked, "May I try that?" I went and grabbed a new fork or glass. That year, I almost completely avoided the usual colds, sore throat, and GI distress.
I've continued to avoid sharing utensils and drinking glasses... and my colds have been much rarer, too. (By the way, the average adult gets two to three colds a year.)
When you sip from another person's glass or nibble off the fork of a family member, you're likely sharing fomites – any substance that can carry bacteria and viruses. And that puts you more at risk to catch a cold from someone you haven't been exposed to recently.
This isn't true for your significant other – culture out your respective bugs in a lab and they'd be nearly identical because you share germs with your partner through things like kissing.
And it's not just colds...
You can also get strep throat, mumps, or even meningitis from sharing drinking glasses or utensils.
You could even get herpes simplex virus type 1, better known as cold sores. These are painful blisters around the mouth and nose that last for about a week and can lead to cold- or flu-like symptoms.
That's one reason I created an annual list of my top ways to improve your health in 1997. I personally keep the list on my fridge to remind myself of the importance of these tips. In 2006, I started publishing it for my Stansberry Research subscribers. I've continued to update the list every winter. Every year, I review the most recent research and use it to revise the list.
I'm currently working on my list for 2016. If you're a Retirement Millionaire subscriber, you'll be receiving this list in an upcoming issue. Keep a close eye out!
And if you're not a subscriber already, I'd encourage you to join. Each month, I publish an in-depth look at an investment recommendation... Plus the latest health or wealth trends and money-saving loopholes. You can go directly to an order page by clicking here.
Four Tips if You've Already Caught a Cold
If you shared food this holiday season and caught a cold, try these simple tips...
When I have a stuffy nose from a cold or allergies, I use my Neti pot. The Neti pot is a device used to rinse the sinuses out. You can buy one at your local drug store for about $10. I use mine once a day when I have a cold or when my sinuses are clogged from allergies. But follow the instructions carefully and don't use tap water.
Get enough sleep. In a recent issue of Retirement Millionaire Daily, I mentioned that getting a better night's sleep will make you three times less likely to catch a cold. Make sure to read that issue on how to receive all the benefits of a good night's sleep.
Try some peppermint tea. Peppermint has been used for thousands of years to improve digestion, lessen cold symptoms, and cure a sore throat. And it's a great, natural way to make your stomach feel better... It helps with indigestion and nausea.
Stay warm and bundle up. Chilly air can weaken your body's defenses. When the temperature within your nose cools, your resistance to rhinovirus (the cause of many common colds) decreases. To keep your nose warm, do what I do... wrap a scarf around your face when you're outside.
Take some extra vitamin C. When I researched vitamin C for the first time almost 30 years ago, I discovered an amazing fact: Vitamin C reduces the symptoms of the common cold within hours. But you won't hear drug companies tout that fact. I take at least 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C almost daily during the cold winter months. (It's one of the few supplements that isn't a scam.)
What We're Reading...
- "Touch my plate and feel my fork."
- Can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?
- Something different: The cold hard facts of freezing to death.