11 Dec Top Tips to Avoid Winter Coughs and Colds
We have enjoyed a wet summer this year, and now the weather has turned much more wintery, the central heating has been turned on, and we become more susceptible to coughs and colds. Here are 6 tips on how to support your immunity and avoid a winter cold.
1 Keep well hydrated with filtered water or try warm water with lemon slices and grated, fresh ginger if you have a tickly throat. Lemon juice provides a concentrated source of vitamin C, well known for its immune support. Lemon zest contains an essential oil called limonene, which has antiseptic properties making it ideal for a gargle. Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and is commonly used for stomach issues, but its ability to boost circulation helps warm the body, whilst its antiseptic and expectorant qualities provide relief to coughs and colds
2 Boost your vitamin C levels with a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables, including peppers, broccoli, kale and strawberries. Vitamin C enhances anti-viral activity, and protects against pollutants. Supplementation may be required particularly during times of stress, in those who smoke, or those exposed to pollutants or allergens. Seek advice from a suitably qualified health professional, particularly if you are on medication or have a health condition.
3. Chicken soup provides a sustaining, warm meal and is a rich source of protein, niacin, selenium, and vitamin B6 to support the immune function. Buy organic chicken when you can to reduce your exposure to antibiotics and growth promoters, and ensure it is cooked thoroughly to avoid foodborne infections.
4. Avoid over exercising when you have a common cold. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, moderate exercise is acceptable if the cold is from the neck up, but bed rest is advisable if the symptoms are systemic with fever, lung congestion or achy limbs. Too much exercise at this time can promote dehydration and make you more susceptible to other infections.
5. Get plenty of sleep and rest to support your immune system. Sleepless nights can increase inflammation and reduce immune function, so tuck up warm in a well-ventilated bedroom and get a good night’s sleep.
6. If you have not yet had your vitamin D status checked, pop to your Doctor and ask to be tested, as it plays a significant role in immunity. Most residents in the Northern Hemisphere are low in vitamin D, which is predominantly produced through exposure to the sun. It is recommended that bare skin be exposed to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes each day between the months of May and September to provide enough vitamin D to take us through the winter months. Supplementation may be necessary, but seek professional advice.
7 For those with doTERRA essential oils in their medicine cabinet try gargling 1 to 2 drops of On Guard protective blend when a sore throat starts, or for the brave, try oregano oil, but remember oregano is a hot oil so be cautious. If you don’t have doTERRA essential oils in your life and would like to learn more about how you can use them to support your health, get in touch – we have live classes and online classes available, most of which are free of charge. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Now you are ready to get out there and enjoy the winter fun!