As we prepare for the winter season, winter proofing our cars and homes, there is one area many of us forget.
Dodging the dreaded cold and flu bugs becomes part of our everyday lives at this time of year but there are some easy ways to help boost your immune system.
Here are five simple yet effective ways which you can give yourself the best chance of staying well this winter.
We all know that vitamin C is a great way to fight off colds and flu but did you know why? It helps the production of white blood cells and antibodies which fight off the infection. Adding more fruit to your diet which is high in Vitamin C is a great way to boost your immunity or alternatively you could take a supplement.
In Japan, people gargle with water three times a day and a study found that people who gargle daily had 36% fewer colds than those that didn’t. It is thought that this helps to clear the mucus and viruses from the back of the throat.
Like Vitamin C, Echinacea helps to boost the production of white blood cells but also has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties as well as soothing inflammation. For it to be really effective you need to start taking it eight weeks before the cold season begins but if used for long periods, it can lose its effectiveness.
A great immune booster, with antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is most effective when eaten raw, the part that actually fights infection in the allicin compound , which gives the garlic its strong smell. Grate it into soups or rub it on toast or take a supplement if you don’t like the taste.
Raw honey is the ultimate super-food and Manuka honey is particularly powerful in helping boost your immunity. A great way to have your daily dose of honey is to add it to a pot of natural yoghurt, especially yoghurt that has ‘live’ or ‘active’ cultures as they themselves are immune boosters.
And if the worst comes to the worst and you do come down with a cold or flu, check out these remedies that actually work