With the cold season comes all the nasty bugs of winter, an endless runny nose, and countless packets of tissues.
Here are a few tips to get you comfortable and keep you feeling well this season.
Layer up to prevent yourself from getting cold. Covering up also protects you from getting bacteria off other people. At home, turn up the heating and enjoy your favorite hot soup or food. Hot meals and beverages allow our bodies to maintain optimum temperatures.
Drink lots of water and fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Some people swear by tea and water as essentials to get through this season. The logic behind this is that as you drink more water, your body flushes out more toxins and bacteria. Hydration prevents the nose from being dry and helps reduce mucus viscosity for easier expulsion.
Get your flu shot from your doctor as this is the primary way to protect yourself, reducing your risk of flu by up to 40-60%. The flu vaccine will stimulate your body to make antibodies against the flu antigen, giving you the necessary immunity against the flu. The flu vaccine has to be taken every year because the virus changes and adapts every year. It’s even more important for at-risk groups like healthcare workers and immunocompromised people (the sick and the elderly).
Good food helps boost the immune system. Start small by adding variety to your plate, including veggies, fish and other superfoods that are filled with vitamins and antioxidants. A combination of proper sleep and diet also improves your immune system. There is good evidence that taking vitamin C (at least with RDA 75-90mg through your diet or as a supplement) helps reduce your risk of developing respiration complications- pulmonary and lung infections.
Good hygiene is necessary, especially washing your hands properly. This helps prevent the spreading of harmful bacteria that can cause stomach flu and other infections. Make sure to use your alcohol hand sanitizers. The flu is contagious so avoid contact with people with the flu. Clean surfaces in your house with disinfectant to kill bacteria.
Featured Image: George Herald
Dianabasi is a Medical Writer at Medics Abroad and a medical student at Trinity College Dublin. She is passionate about volunteering and activism.