February is in full swing. Spring is on the horizon. But why am I still sniffling? Why am I still coughing? Surely since Sniffle Season (as I like to call it) has passed cold and flu season should have too? Think again. By implementing some small changes into your lifestyle it is possible to avoid a cold or flu this Spring.

In love with Spring - Photo credit Nick Kenrick

In love with Spring – Photo credit Nick Kenrick

First up – Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It is also important for the health of the immune system. The immune system works to fight off viruses, so it plays a huge role when a cold or flu hits. Vitamin C can boost immune system health therefore it is important to keep it topped up. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as citrus fruits, broccoli, leafy green veg, tomatoes and peppers. It can also be topped up by taking it in supplement form.

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey has been used for generations as an alternative medicine. It contains antibiotic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. For a sore throat it can reduce inflammation and help to avoid infection. Try adding it to hot water and lemon to make a soothing drink. If you are feeling brave it can be taken straight off the spoon. Manuka Honey can be found in your local Health Food Store.

Echinacea (pronounced ech-i-nay-sha)

Echinacea is a herbal medicine that can be used to treat a cold and flu thanks to its antibiotic and healing properties. It also strengthens the immune system so can be used as a preventative. It comes in different forms such as liquid, spray or tablets. This can also be found in your local Health Food Store.

Echinacea - Photo Credit Chris Waits

Echinacea – Photo Credit Chris Waits

Avoid alcohol and stress, sleep well and keep warm

Alcohol can have a negative impact on the body. Not only does it weaken the bodies defenses it also affects sleep. Getting a good nights sleep is crucial when it comes to fighting off a cold or flu. Any excuse to go to bed early with a hot water bottle right? Stress can weaken the immune system. Avoid and manage stress to keep your immune system in tip top shape.

Hydration

Whether avoiding or treating a cold or flu it is so important to stay well hydrated. To kill two birds with the one stone add a spoon of Manuka Honey, a slice of fresh lemon and a slice of fresh ginger to water and sip throughout the day. If you think you may be dehydrated speak to a pharmacist.

Wash your hands

It may seem obvious but keep hands clean to avoid catching or spreading germs that can cause a cold or flu. If you can’t reach a sink with soap and warm water keep some hand sanitizer nearby.

If all else fails …

If all else fails speak to your local pharmacy or health food shop about products available to help you avoid and treat a cold or flu. Just because Winter is over it doesn’t mean germs and bugs aren’t still hanging around. The best treatment for a cold or flu is prevention, so stock up on the essentials ASAP, wash your hands and remember to sneeze into a tissue and throw it away afterwards!!

Sick of being sick - Photo Credit al shep

Sick of being sick – Photo Credit al shep