How to Keep the Winter Bugs at Bay
There are many beliefs surrounding flu & colds, but what is myth & what is scientifically backed up.
Forget high doses of vitamin C & Echinacea as ways of preventing colds & flu. Both may slightly reduce the length & severity of the cold but there is no conclusive evidence that they effective against colds .
Avoid Antibiotics – they are ineffective against the flu-which is caused by a virus, not by bacteria. Ask your doctor for an antiviral drug within 48 hours of the first symptoms.
Getting cold or wet
The only thing that can cause a cold or flu is a cold or flu virus. Getting cold or wet won’t give you a cold. However, if you are already carrying the virus in your nose, the cold might allow symptoms to develop.
Keep hydrated to keep the membranes of nasal passages moist.
Working in air conditioned offices with dry air can sap moisture from the lining of your nasal passages creating tiny cracks that make you susceptible to infection.
Wrap up warm & brave the cold
No matter how low the temperature, exercise or take a brisk walk outside every day. Exercise boosts the circulation of immune cells throughout the body, and research shows that walking 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week in winter can cut your sick days in half.
Warm Up with Tea
There is evidence to suggest that the antioxidant quercetin found in black & green tea may protect against infection by preventing viruses from replicating, so have a hot cup at least once a day.
Wash your hands
Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for over two hours, so it is important to regularly wash your hands. Door handles, remote controls, and railings are common place for bacteria to be picked up.
Avoid touching your nose and eyes
Cold and flu viruses can enter your body through the eyes and nose. If you have any infected droplets on your hands, and you touch your eyes or nose, you can pass the virus into your system.
Chicken soup really can treat a cold. The hot vapor expands your airways, which helps to clear mucus from the nasal cavity. Plus, University of Nebraska researchers found that chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect that may soothe a sore throat.
Studies have found that D can stimulate the production of a virus-killing protein, and taking supplements (2,000 IU a day) can lead to fewer viral infections.
The best way to protect yourself from colds and flu is to have a healthy lifestyle. A healthy clean diet, regular outdoor exercise, drink plenty of water & warm drinks & have 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night.