Winter is the season when we are all surrounded by coughs and sniffles. Although common cold and cough is caused by viruses, and not the weather, it is believed these viruses multiply faster in chilly conditions. And to add to it, we all spend less time outdoors in the fresh air or sun and are more bundled up in confined spaces, hence breathing in re-circulated air.
But, the good news is that you can help prevent winter cold and flu with careful attention to your hygiene habits and the inclusion of immunity boosters to your diet and lifestyle.
Let's look at common symptoms first and move on to tips on how to avoid/ prevent coming down with a cold & flu this season!
Symptoms of cold: sore throat, blocked nose, sneezing, headache, coughing, slight temperature, etc.
15 Tips to Avoid Cold and Flu during Winters:
- Drink plenty of water. Prefer warm water instead of cold water. Also drink some herbal tea, chicken or vegetable soup including garlic and ginger in it to boost your immunity.
- Wash your hands frequently. And always use tissue or handkerchief when sneezing or coughing. Also keep hand sanitizer on hand.
- Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and choose complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats like omega-3 to keep a strong immune system.
- Eat food rich in vitamins and minerals, like zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D can really help your body to fend off infection. Zinc - eggs, seafood, tofu, wheat germ, etc. Vitamin D – Sunlight is in short supply during winters, so eat Vitamin D sources like fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods such as milk (cow, soy, almond, etc). Vitamin C - citrus fruits, papaya, cranberries, pineapple and vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.
- In spices, opt for typically wintry ones, such as cinnamon, cloves, chilli, pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, fennel. These spices can be added to curries, teas and coffees and essentially to any wintery hot beverage.
- Lack of sleep makes you more prone to infections, hence sleep well.
- Stay stress-free. Try yoga.
- Get some sweat and exercise daily.
- Wear sweaters, jackets, scarves, caps when cold outside.
- Gargle with a warm saline solution to sooth down an irritated throat and to help to clear any infection.
- Avoid drinking aerated drinks.
- Use humidifier or vaporizer to moist the dry air in your house/room. It will help in preventing catching a cold.
- Avoid sugary, processed, fried and junk food.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol hurt the immune system and more prone to cold. It will help in Hence quit smoking and don’t drink alcohol.
- Visit your doctor if your cold or fever isn’t going away.The cold and flu virus will not spare anyone. It's important that extra care is taken with children around to avoid catching and spreading of any kind of infection.
Follow the above less expensive, easy-to-do tips to protect yourself and your family during the cold season.
Stay Warm, Stay Fit, Stay Strong!