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OK, there's no magic cure for seasonal sniffles. But get on top of these 10 common mistakes, and you can help lessen their length and severity

(Plus what to do to make them better)

DR MARTIN GODFREY is a GP in a south London practice, writer and broadcaster on medical topics

1 Ignoring the signs

Catching the symptoms of a cold early is important as it may help shorten its duration. Too many people only start supporting themselves when their cold or cough is at its peak. Early symptoms can be localised, such as a sore throat, or generalised, such as feeling shivery and generally unwell. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the length and severity of colds. I'd recommend taking at least 200mg a day within 24 hours of your symptoms beginning and continuing for as long as they persist. Taking the mineral zinc* (7.5mg a day) for as long as your cold lasts can also be helpful.

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About Healthy Magazine

It's almost Christmas! Get prepared with the December/January healthy magazine, featuring wellness bloggers Zanna Van Dijk, Natasha Corrett and Carly Rowena. Find 37 festive recipes – including clean, free-from, healthy and delicious options to please everyone. Plus, two women reveal their life-changing #bestgiftever – what's yours? Keep your mind and body on track this Christmas with the new digital edition of healthy.