It’s that time of the year again where many of us are starting to prepare for the festive season, but there are some very real risks that can come along with winter. With the unpredictable cold and damp weather starting to set in, the risk of catching the flu and colds increases. So what can you and your loved ones do to stay healthy and away from the nasty germs and bugs?
Here are some tips on how to stay flu free this winter...
Stock up on Vitamin D
Studies have shown that vitamin D can be a flu fighter, so with this in mind you can always keep some vitamin D supplements in your kitchen cupboard to help boost your immune system during those dark, cold wintery months.
Take a daily probiotic
A strong immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut (as 70% of your immune system is in the gut). Probiotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt and are added to some foods and are also available as dietary supplements.
Feed your Immune system
It’s important to make sure that you eat proper meals, regularly. Why not start your day with a wholesome breakfast like a bowl of weetabix or porridge with some fresh fruit such as sliced apple, raspberries, pears or bananas. For lunches and dinners try some nourishing soups, colorful salads, and dark greens and veggies as these are packed with flu-fighting phytonutrients.If you are stuck for ideas, why not check out BBC Good Food where there are lots of tasty healthy ideas.
Give your body an easy antiviral boost
Antiviral herbs help boost your immunity and help protect you without creating resistant viral strains. Four great antivirals are andrographis include olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract and elderberry extract. Try adding some Garlic in your foods and diet and this has antiviral properties and is a known immunity booster.
Get plenty of sleep
There’s nothing worse than not getting enough sleep and it’s extra important during those winter months as it’s a key component to keeping flu free. On average, research suggests that we should sleep between seven to nine hours a night for healthy adults, although this varies. If you are struggling to get good night’s sleep, here are some tips that can help improve your sleep so you get plenty of rest.
Take some time out
Make sure you take some time out to fit in some exercise. By participating in a 15 – 30 minute light exercise DVD a day can help boost your immune system and help fight the winter blues. Yoga and breathing exercises are a great way of keeping fit and relaxing as they help relieve stress and tension as well as enhance physical and metal resilience.
Don’t forget the flu jab!
Many people are eligible for the injection on the NHS. If you are one of these people, you should have it as it will help decrease your chances of getting the virus. The vaccine is available free to adults over the age of 65, or if you are pregnant have weak immune systems or underlying health issues. It’s also available in a nasal spray form for children in England up to the age of 4.
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