Alison Cullen, nutritional therapist at A.Vogel, reveals her top tips for shifting the dreaded lurgy
Despite your best and healthiest efforts a cold or flu bug may still lay you low, especially when you’re in recovery mode from the festive season, or struggling to throw off the influence of the long, dark nights. Help your body to jettison the bug as effectively as possible with some simple strategies.
Having lots of caffeine and skimping on veg will add to the pressures on your body. Fill your plate with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, turmeric and onions, which contain plenty of immune protecting nutrients. Drink green tea instead of caffeine-laden coffee, as it strengthens the immune system action by protecting it against oxidants and radicals.
Sugar competes with vitamin C, which you need for good immune function; so feeding a sweet tooth is jam for the bugs. Craving sweetness can be due to needing vitamin C, as C-containing fruit is sweet. Make hot drinks with squeezed oranges, lemons or limes, and stew berries for comfort snacks.
Immune cells behave badly when under the influence of alcohol, just as we do. Getting more sleep, on the other hand, can improve your immune function.
Eating lots of fatty foods or having high cholesterol makes your immune cells lazy. It’s back to the veggies to fill your immune cells with zest.
One cigarette destroys around 25mg of vitamin C in the smoker, and your respiratory tract doesn’t need any of the passive problems passed on with the smoke.
Wash your bed linen, especially pillow cases, regularly during a bout of cold/flu infection, to avoid giving germs a safe harbour. Respiratory tract viruses can lurk for days on door handles, bank notes, and bed linen, so keep hands and face clean.
Use echinacea at the first sign of trouble and throughout an infection, to limit symptom severity. It is antiviral and antibacterial, which means it tackles both the viruses that cause the initial infections and the bacteria that can cause secondary symptoms such as sinusitis and catarrh.Alison is a nutritional therapist at herbal remedies company A.Vogel. For more information visit avogel.co.uk
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