As the NHS1 announce ‘you are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter’ taking steps to ensure your immune system is in tip-top condition during the next few months is more important than ever. So, if you’re not sure where to start Braun has collated its top five tips to help you and your family stay healthy, no matter the weather.
1. Drink more milk
Because they’re such great sources of protein and calcium, milk and dairy products form part of a healthy diet, with the calcium in dairy foods being particularly good for us because our bodies absorb it easily2. They also contain vitamins A and B12, vitamin A being vital for good health and longevity as it boosts immunity and fosters cell growth3 and B12 essential for the growth and division of cells, key for supporting your immune system when it needs extra help in the winter months.
2. Eat more fruit and veg
When it’s cold and dark outside, filling up on unhealthy comfort foods is more tempting than ever, but if you’re looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Healthline 4 recommend feeding your body certain foods to help keep your immune system running strong with citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli, garlic and ginger being at the top of the list. Including as many of these super foods within your meals is really important for increasing everyone’s chances of fending off those winter bugs.
3. Stock up!
Along with medicines, think about the other supplies you’ll need. Make sure you have a trustworthy thermometer such as Braun’s ThermoScan® 7 ear thermometer or the No touch + forehead thermometer and fresh batteries if it needs them. A humidifier such as the Vicks SweetDreams Cool Mist Humidifier is also great during the winter months as indoor humidity levels can drop as low as 10% partly due to the cold, dry outside air and the heating being turned up in our homes. Then focus on the basics, such as tissues, and hand sanitiser. Have plenty to hand so you’re ready for the first sneeze.
4. Have a hearty breakfast
Tis’ the season for porridge. Eating a warm bowlful on a cold morning isn’t just a tasty way to start your day it also helps boost your intake of starchy foods and fibre6, giving you energy and helping you feel fuller for longer. Oats also contain lots of vital vitamins and minerals – try popping in some fruit such as sliced banana or dried apricots to help towards your 5 a day.
5. Wash your hands
Wash, wash, wash! According to the CDC7 the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands. For adults and children this should be a part of your daily routine but when sneezing season arrives it’s even more important to keep on top of your hygiene. Be sure to use plenty of soap and rub for a substantial amount of time to ensure the germs are removed.
We hope these tips help you to have a healthier and happier winter.
1,6 Choices, NHS. (2016a) Five ways to stay healthy this winter. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Healthywinter.aspx (Accessed: 16 November 2016).
2 Choices, NHS. (2016) Milk and dairy in your diet. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/milk-dairy-foods.aspx (Accessed: 16 November 2016).
3 says, L. (2015) Vitamin A: Benefits, sources & side effects. Available at: https://draxe.com/vitamin-a/ (Accessed: 16 November 2016).
4 Schend, J. (2005) Foods that boost the immune system. Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system (Accessed: 16 November 2016).
5 Lewis, S (2015) 10 ways to prepare for cold and flu season. Available at: http://healthguides.healthgrades.com/managing-the-household-cold/10-ways-to-prepare-for-cold-and-flu-season (Accessed: 16 November 2016).
7 CDC (2016) Handwashing – clean hands save lives. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/ (Accessed: 16 November 2016).