Winter is coming and so too is the cold and flu season. That’s why it’s important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy.
Every year the average adult catches a common cold 2-4 times and children experience 6-8 colds. A cold typically lasts for 7-10 days, which adds up to a lot of time off work, in bed and feeling unwell. Influenza is less common, but more serious than a cold. Yet, up to one in five Australians catch the flu each winter and children are more than twice as likely to get the flu.
Prevention tips include:
- Consume key vitamins with a whole food, nutritious diet.
Vitamin C has long been correlated with stronger immune function, so keep eating those fruits high in vitamin C, like oranges and blueberries.
- Maintain good gut bacteria
Research suggests that our gastrointestinal system might be the centre of immunity. That means that maintaining a healthy gut flora is key to strengthening our immune system and helping to prevent the sniffles. Make sure you’re consuming probiotic-packed foods, like yogurt. If necessary, you can also add on a probiotic supplement.
- Wash your hands
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes
- Get More sleep
The cold weather and early sunsets are the tone for earlier bedtimes. You might neeed longer rest periods this season, listen to your body. This season you have permission to hit the snooze button.
- Drink plenty of water
Water helps your body’s systems function at optimum levels. Drinking plenty of water flushes toxins and ensures that your cells get all of the oxygen they need to function as they were meant to
- Water Oxygenates Your Blood and Flushes Toxins
- Water Keeps Your Eyes and Mouth Clean
- Water Helps You Digest Your Food
Drinking plenty of water will keep you healthy in the long term
- Control Stress
Stress hormones weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infection. Ensure you take the time to de-stress, add meditation and deep breathing to your weekly routine.
- Get moving
Battling another cough or cold? Feeling tired all the time? You may feel better if you take a daily walk or follow a simple exercise routine a few times a week.
Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
Know when to treat your systems. If you feel a bit under the weather, speak to your pharmacist today to discuss getting the best treatment.