Body

8 immunity-boosting tips to get through winter

Don't wait to get sick - arm yourself against winter bugs.

Public transport, open offices, small children: there are a myriad of factors that conspire against us in winter, as we try to fight off endless colds and flus.

Follow these tips to help avoid the dreaded lurgy this winter.

  • Practise good hygiene, particularly at your desk. Most people do not clean their desktops as often as they should. Be sure to spray your desk once a day with a natural cleaner, especially the keyboard and phone.

  • Try a grapefruit seed extract nasal spray. When people around you are sneezing, your first line of defence are the cilia [tiny hairs] inside your nose. Keep them moist with ideally a grapefruit seed extract nasal spray or even a plain saline one; two to three sprays daily will help you avoid getting sick. And don't rub your eyes with your hands!

  • Keep a jug of tea next to you. Combine freshly ground turmeric, a teaspoon of grated ginger and hot water, and have that as your main drink throughout the day.

  • Eat lots of nuts and seeds, and fruit such as berries and kiwifruit. One kiwifruit a day packs a real punch of immune boosters. Try to cut out sugar – especially processed sugar – as it represses your immune function. Keep food fresh as much as possible; salads and soups are ideal.

  • Avoid alcohol. Half a glass of wine or even a full glass four nights a week isn't a terrible immune suppressant. But any more than that and you could be compromising your immunity.

  • Eat more fresh garlic. Cooking garlic kills the allicin, the compound that helps fight bugs. I grate fresh garlic and sprinkle it over salads.

  • Drink iodised salt water. Sore throat? Put a pinch of iodised salt in a glass of warm water and stir it around. Gargle for 30 seconds then spit it out. Do that a few times every few hours to kill the bacteria.

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