How to keep Colds and Flu away and achieve Winter Wellness.

Protect Yourself Naturally this Winter with 12 Hints to Boost Your Winter Immunity

1. Viruses such as colds and flu are most easily transmitted when large numbers of people are gathered in confined spaces. Therefore, avoidance of these situations is recommended as much as possible during winter.

2. If you do find you yourself in this situation, staying well hydrated is the best way to avoid a contracting a virus. In winter the mucous membranes of the nose and throat can dry out as people gather indoors in heated rooms. Without adequate moisture (via water intake) these membranes are unable to effectively capture the virus in mucous to be blown out. Drinking up to 8 glasses of water per day can significantly reduce your chances of contracting a cold or flu.

3. Similarly, keep heaters at temperatures at or below 20 C to avoid drying out the atmosphere. If possible open a window slightly to let in some fresh air and use layered clothing to obtain a comfortable level of warmth.

4. Use a tissue to blow your nose or cough into, then dispose of it in the bin and wash your hands with warm soapy water. It may sound simple but this is a powerful way to avoid reinfecting yourself or infecting others. (Handkerchiefs are very unhygienic. They need to be disinfected and washed between every use.)

5. Getting adequate sleep/rest is essential to retain your immunity throughout winter. If you are rundown and sleep deprived you become a primary candidate for an infection, cold or flu to take hold.

6. Keep stress and sugary foods/drinks to a minimum. Both of these will reduce your immunity and leave you susceptible to colds and flu.

7. Keep alcohol to a minimum also as this depletes your body of essential nutrients needed for your immunity to keep you healthy.

8. Reduce or eliminate cigarettes from your life. Smoking damages lung tissue and the respiratory system in general. Therefore, smoking prolongs recovery from colds and flu and worsens the symptoms and severity of bronchial infections, leaving you open to developing bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy.

9. Maintaining an exercise regime throughout winter can be extremely powerful for preventing viral infections such as colds and flu. Just be sure to avoid heated swimming pools or any activity which is overly strenuous.

10. Eat fresh, unprocessed foods and avoid mucous forming foods. Your body’s natural response to infection is to reduce your appetite, as the energy required to digest your food is redirected to the immune response to fight the infection. Therefore, eating heavy/fatty foods slows down the healing process. The lymphatic system which works in conjunction the immune system also transports fatty acids around the body. So eating a meal of fish and chips will make the lymph flow even more sluggish which prolongs the healing effort. (The lymphatic system drains and filters toxins, dead infectious organisms, etc. from the cells. The flow of lymphatic fluid is enhanced with exercise.)

11. At the first sign of an infection, cold or flu make a cup of hot brewed tea/filtered coffee. Both tea and coffee contain antioxidant and antiviral properties. You can also add fresh ginger to tea to increase its healing properties. Peppermint tea and green tea are also good choices.

12. Load up on Vitamin C (otherwise known as Ascorbic Acid). My personal favourite is powdered Vitamin C which can be taken in water every hour. It does wonders for fighting an infection. Many studies have confirmed Vitamin C’s ability to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu. During an acute infection the body will need many grams of Vitamin C a day to perform this function. Vitamin C is not stored in the body so it must be obtained from the diet or supplements. NB if you experience diarrhoea you have reached bowel tolerance so back off slightly until the bowel returns to normal.

This list contains just a few things you can do achieve Winter Wellness this winter, to boost your immunity and keep colds and flu at bay.

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