The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder which can only mean one thing, winter is rapidly approaching.
While many of us love the idea of warm jumpers, a piping hot cup of tea and cosying up around the fireplace, winter does unfortunately also equal cold and flu season. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to avoid catching flu this year and below we have listed some of the most effective techniques.
Good foods are full of nutrients and this is exactly what you need to build up a good immune system. There are a number of foods that not only boost your immune system, they also help to build the healthy cells you need to feel better even when you’re already ill.
If you haven’t already, make sure you add these seven superfoods to your trolley this winter:
- Garlic – helps promote healthy gut flora which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses
- Beef – a good source of zinc which is important in the development of white blood cells because they defend your body against illnesses
- Sweet potato – a great source of Vitamin A which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces
- Turmeric – studies have shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to coughs, colds and congestion
- Dark leafy greens – anything like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula are all great sources of the cold-fighting Vitamin C
- Wild salmon – something we lack in winter is Vitamin D which is why we’re more prone to getting ill. Wild salmon, canned tuna and egg yolks are all fantastic sources of it however
- Chicken soup – it’s not a myth, chicken soup really is good for you when you’re ill. The hot liquid helps to loosen mucus secretions, maintain your body temperature and keep you hydrated
Take care of yourself
When it’s freezing cold outside it’s very easy to put off exercise and turn to comfort food. As hard as it can be to stay motivated, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly if you don’t want to make yourself more susceptible to catching a cold or flu.
Practice good hygiene
Good hand hygiene is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs onto others.
By now we’re all well aware of the importance of hand washing but did you know that drying your hands is just important as washing them? Wet hands are a breeding ground for bacteria yet so many of us are guilty of wiping our hands on our clothes or walking out the bathroom with wet hands.
A study carried out by the University of Bradford found that how wet our hands are can greatly influence bacterial transfer and how easy it is spread germs to surfaces and other items we touch. It’s thought that this occurs because bacteria may be maintained in a physiological state which makes it easier for it to survive in its new environment.