It may be cold outside, but winter needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family. Along with chilly temperatures winter brings a variety of bugs, often leaving you feeling run down. Although there are no quick fixes to prevent colds and flu from striking, here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your immune system is functioning at peak performance.
1. Wash your hands and do it right. Everyday you come into contact with thousands of germs and bacteria. Wash your hands several times a day with plenty of soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds.
2. Keep hydrated. Your fluid intake can help to ease the symptoms of colds and flu – it prevents the throat and nose lining from drying out. Warm fluids are especially helpful as they can help moisten your throat. According to new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE), honey drinks (and add a dose of lemon for added vitamin C!) have been shown to ease coughing.1 Try to drink at least 8 glasses of fluid each day.
3. Get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation2 recommends seven to eight hours of sleep a night to keep your immune system in fighting shape. When you are running on empty and in a sleep deficit, your immune system can suffer, leaving you more susceptible to picking up winter bugs.
4. Light. Open the blinds and windows as often as you can. Get outside and soak up some natural light – the health benefits are endless and include topping up essential vitamin D, helping you get a good night’s sleep and even improving your mental health. Take the dog and the kids with you or enjoy a peaceful walk by yourself. Even a few minutes out on your lunch break can make all the difference.
5. Eat fruit and vegetables from a rainbow of different colours. Did you know each different colour provides you with a different array of nutrients? Make sure you include plenty of green, red, purple/blue, yellow/orange and white/brown fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Some examples of the immunity boosting nutrients found in fruit and vegetables include: Vitamin A (or carotenoids – any vegetable of orange or yellow colours and some green foods like dark green veg), Vitamin C (citrus fruits, kiwi, tomatoes, potatoes, berries and broccoli) and Phytonutrients (compounds found naturally in plants). Phenolics (found in most fruit and vegetables) and flavonoids (berries, onions, Brussels sprouts, citrus, kale and parsley) are common phytonutrients, which are known to have immune benefits.
Barley Grass is naturally high in many key nutrients that help to support the immune system, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes.
Nikken’s Organic Jade GreenZymes® is the perfect winter drink (it can be consumed hot or cold) and could offer you that bit of extra help in boosting your immunity in the cold season.
27th January 2020