Respiratory infections such as the ‘common’ cold and influenza can occur at any time of the year but are most common during the Winter months. It is estimated that approximately 4.5 million Australians experience a cold at least once a year.
flu's are not the same. Influenza is much more serious and in some circumstances can be life threatening. Those most at risk of very serious illness are the elderly, the very young and those with severely compromised immunity. Most people who are relatively healthy will recover from a bout of influenza within a few days. However if you don’t look after your immune system you will be susceptible to a relapse or to ‘catching’ the next infection circulating in your environment.
How can I prevent colds and flu's?
There are many things you can do to improve and maintain a healthy immune system which will reduce the likelihood of succumbing to an infection.
Colds and flu's are very contagious and spread from person to person via droplets in the air from sneezing or coughing. You can become infected by touching a contaminated surface or by shaking hands and then transferring the virus to your mouth, eyes or nose.
- Wash your hands frequently, particularly if people around you have symptoms of cold or flu
- Try to avoid crowded places as much as possible during ‘flu season’
• Drink plenty of water
- Eat a diet high in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. This ensures that you get vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential for a healthy immune system
- Eat adequate protein. This can be obtained from animal sources such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy foods or from plant sources such as legumes and soy products including tempeh and tofu
- Have lots of onions and garlic for their antimicrobial activity. Ginger and
chilli are very warming foods and can be beneficial, particularly in the colder months
- Get plenty of sleep and make time for relaxation and enjoyable activities
- Engage in moderate exercise at least four times per week to improve immunity and aid the
flashing of wastes through the circulatory and lymphatic systems
- Avoid processed foods – these are often lacking in essential nutrients
- Minimise or avoid the use of alcohol and caffeine – these filter many valuable nutrients from the body
If you have a cold or flu infection you need to take precautions that will prevent its spread and reduce its severity and duration.
Take Action Early
- Speak to Naturopath at the very earliest signs of an infection. Alison will help
with appropriate herbs and nutrients. You can often prevent the infection from taking hold
- Wash you hands frequently throughout the day with soap and warm water, dry thoroughly
- Always cover you mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
- Avoid close contact with other people as much as possible and avoid crowded places
- Take time off, rest and stay warm. Give the immune system a good chance to deal with the infection quickly and efficiently
- Eat nutritious foods and have plenty of fluids. Home made soups with vegetables, ginger and garlic are great. They are every nutritious but do not take lots of energy to digest, leaving more energy for the immune system to do its job
- Avoid cold drinks and foods, fatty foods and foods containing sugar and artificial additives
- Keep in mind that excessive dairy foods may increase mucus production
- If you feel feverish make a cup of Immune Zinger, rug up and sweat it out. You can repeat this as soften as needed until the feverish symptoms have passed. A hot bath can also help to induce sweating
Try Alison's Immune System Defender Formula
Place the following ingredients into a mug:
- - Juice of a lemon
- - 1 teaspoon finely chopped/grated ginger
- - pinch of chilli powder or a little freshly
- - 1-2 cloves of garlic crushed or finely
- - 1-2 teaspoons honey
- Add boiling water and cover for about 10
- Rug up, stay warm and enjoy this delicious
brew. It will encourage a mild fever and induce
sweating. Fever is one of the body’s first
defences against infection and may help to
relieve the symptoms.
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