Preventing colds and flu is easier than you may at first imagine. Winter and the start of the New Year may be challenging, but preventing colds and flu is easier than you may at first imagine. Follow these simple natural health tips for best results…
- Get enough sleep. Many of us aren’t getting enough precious sleep, but this is essential for our heath in numerous ways. One study from 2015 at the University of California found that people sleeping for less than six hours a night or more were more than 4 times likely to catch a cold compared with their peers who sleep for more than several hours a night.
- Exercise. Partaking in regular exercise is one way to strengthen your muscles, but it can also improve your immune system too. One 2010 study at the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina also found that walking for 35-45 minutes daily can increase the amount of immune system cells that are present within the body. This results in nearly half the number of sick days compared with those who were sedentary.
- Boost your immune system. It’s possible to improve your immune system by using herbs and nutraceuticals. Studies have also shown that Echinacea can reduce the chances of getting a cold by up to 58% or shorten its duration by around 1.4 days. Vitamin C is highly recommended as it’s a potent antioxidant that can combat free radical damage, enabling the immune system to become better equipped to combat invading bacteria and microbes. Vitamin D3 can provide good immune benefits that can fight the effects of disease by affecting gene expression and boosting the immune system, according to researchers.
- Avoid sugar and starchy carbs (as these are also high in sugars) that can cause so many health problems. Sugar has many health problems and can often lead to weight gain as it has been linked with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Meanwhile a study from 1973 found that eating or drinking sugary foods can decrease the immune system response by around 15% for up to 5 hours after being consumed.
- Meditation is known to be a great stress-buster and is one of the best calming activities to do to calm the mind. Therefore perhaps it’s not too great a leap to imagine that meditating can reduce respiratory infections by 40-50 per cent, as shown by a 2012 study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. More good reasons to meditate daily, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes!
- Eat more garlic as this pungent herb can help you to stay healthy, especially during the winter months. Garlic contains Allicin, a biologically active compound that can be used to treat infection, inflammation and hypertension. A 2014 study from the University of Western Australia in Crawley has also found that supplementing with garlic daily has been associated with halving the number of colds, when compared with non-garlic takers.
- Drink plenty of water, around 6-8 glasses per day with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda in each glass. Liquids keep our bodies hydrated throughout the day. Coffee and juice should be avoided if possible as coffee is a diuretic and juice is high in sugar. Drinking water throughout the day can help to flush toxins from the body and this keeps the level of mucus thin if you do have a cold.
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