By Tiyani Rikhotso
Winter is dawning on us and hopefully you aren’t already sniffling or coughing. During this season, our immune systems start to struggle and with germs and bacteria floating in the air, from other peoples’ coughs and sneezes it can be difficult to avoid becoming under the weather. Here are a few simple ways you can help your body out so that it can fight off a cold. A lot of the advice echoes things we already know, but in our busy modern lives get so easy to forget. Hopefully there won’t be a need to pull out the cough mixture, lozenges or Corenza this winter.
- Garlic and ginger are your new best friends. Garlic isn’t only good for banishing the vampires, but it will also keep a cold at a distance. On the stove, in 2 cups of water, warm up one clove of garlic and 1/8th of a cup of grated ginger. Bring this to the boil then let it cool. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon into the mixture. Strain and drink this on an empty stomach several times a week, especially during the height of winter. The lemon provides you with some vitamin C and the honey soothes your throat (and let’s not forget that it makes the taste of the garlic less scary). Ginger will keep your naval passages clear and kicking and the star of the show, garlic, boosts your immune system so it can better fight of germs.
- Keep warm. This one may seem like a no brainer, but it’s so easy to forget a jacket or skip a warm shower after you’ve been stuck in the rain. Remember the vests we used to wear when we wear younger? Totally not lame. Our moms knew that layering up was the best way to brave the cold, so, get layering and always take a jacket. Keep slippers on when you’re walking around the house and make sure you’re warm while sleeping. This is often when the cold creeps up on us and we end up waking up with a sore throat or cough.
- Drink water. Too many of us are dehydrated. When it’s cold is becomes especially difficult to remember to get 6 – 8 glasses in. You can have warm water or tea which will make getting hydrated more pleasant when the temperature drops. Water flushes out the toxins in our bodies and makes sure you have a well-oiled system so that everything can function optimally.
- Rest up. Finally, remember to give your body time to rest and recover. Cosy up under a blanket (or 7 if we’re being honest) and give your body the 8 hours it needs to reboot and perform all the vital functions it carries out when we’re sleeping. This way, your immune system will be fired up and those little flu germs won’t stand a chance in your body.