South Africans has been warned of a severe cold winter and with this cold fronts comes colds and flus and all kinds of undesirable maladies. Most believe that these casual illnesses are caused by things such as the change in the weather (temperature), having wet hair when it is cold or even going outside after a hot bath or shower. While these things play a role and can contribute to you getting sick, the fact remains that our immune systems are weaker during the winter months and when it is cold making us more prone to catching a cold. Here follows a few home remedies to tackle those winter maladies:
- Drink lots of fluids (preferable water)
It is important to keep the body hydrated during the dry winter months and drinking water is the best to get rid of those pestilential toxins in the body. Also, drinking 8 glasses of water may or may not be enough – listen to what your body is telling you. Half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in water can ease a scratchy or sore throat, which are the common signs of a cold. If you feel congested try drinking hot liquids such as herbal tea or rooibos with a slice of lemon.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin D is vital
Vitamin C keeps your body strong and healthy so eat as much fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits and leafy greens. Vitamin C keeps your muscles and bones strong and healthy and maintains the blood vessels. Vitamin D can be found in liver and fish oils i.e. tuna, cheese and cod liver oil. The sun also adds to your body’s production of vitamin D. Science believes that even 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight a day can prevent a weaker immune system.
- Get enough sleep
It is recommended that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Before you go to bed, take a nice, warm bath (with lavender and other essential oils if possible), switch off your phone/laptop/TV and the lights and mellow into a more relaxing mood. This will allow you to sleep much better through the night. Getting enough sleep strengthens your immune system.
- Stay active
Staying active in winter is the best way to better your mood, making it easier for you not to stress. A quick walk or run in the morning plays an important role in boosting your immune system and keeps you fit. Find fun activities you can participate in in your area.
- Eat the right foods
Build your diet in such a way that it protects your immune system and combat colds and flus. Here’s a list of foods to eat during the winter months:
- Garlic and onions
- Pumpkin, butternut and gem squash
- 6-7 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day
- Chicken soup
How many times are you going to have to visit the doctor during the winter months? Twice? Maybe thrice; and that is probably just for a cold or flu. What about all the other ailments and illnesses that arise? Best be sure to have that Health Insurance and Hospital Cover looked at and be sure to check what you are covered for. On MisterCompare.co.za you can compare quotes to find the best in health cover.
- Enzo Leigh Botes