The inevitable winter flus and bugs are on their way and it’s time to prepare your body to fight them off. November always tends to be the month when we find ourselves surrounded by coughing and sniffing. In this week’s blog we have covered some preventative measures you can take to build your immune system, because we all know prevention is always better than cure!
1. Wash your hands, a lot!
Colds and Flu are highly contagious. The virus is commonly airborne, able to spread from one person to another standing within 6 feet via droplets produced when coughing, sneezing or by touching contaminated surfaces or door handles. That makes washing your hands the single most important step you can take to prevent picking up one of these illnesses! Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. It is important to create a lather of soap and make sure you wash between your finger, both the tops and palms of your hands and your nail beds. If you are wearing jewellery, remove it or else make sure you get to wash under any rings.
2. Create your own DIY hand sanitising spray.
A hand sanitising spray for on the go allows you to apply good hygiene practices in the workplace or in public places. Creating your own spray with several essential oils, with an alcoholic base can offer antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. A personal favourite of ours here at VOYA was recently covered in November issue of Natural Health magazine by herbalist, Stephanie Tourles
- 8 drops of eucalyptus
- 6 drops of peppermint
- 6 drops of rosemary (verbenon or nonchemotype specific)
- 6 drops of tea tree
- 4 drops of lemon
- ¼ cup of unflavoured vodka
- ¼ cup purified water
- ½ tsp vegetable glycerine
- 4-ouce plastic or dark glass spritzer
- To make the spray: Combine vodka, water & glycerine in the bottle, then add the eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and lemon essential oils. Close bottle and shake vigorously to blend. Allow spray to synergise for at least an hour at room temperature.
- To use: Shake well before each use. Use after washing your hands for an extra layer of protection. Avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth & use within one year. This bright, uplifting green minty citrus aroma is one of our must-have’s this winter!
3. Increase your intake of essential vitamins and antioxidants in your diet.
- Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. Crushing fresh garlic, whether through chopping and letting minced garlic rest, or by chomping down on a clove with your own teeth, causes a chemical reaction that releases Allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated. So, you need to eat it raw! Eating fresh garlic in this state is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu.
- Vitamin C, we’ve heard it all before that Vitamin C is well known for its immune system and antioxidants properties, but how much of this do you consume a day? Vitamin C is naturally found in many fruit and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons. Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, kale and peas are also packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients we need.
4. Get more sleep.
Sleep is one of the most essential factors for our overall wellness. Kids and teens need anywhere from 9 to 13 hours of sleep while adults need 7 to 9 hours each night. Proper sleep helps the body repair itself, builds the immune system and helps maintain your appetite.
5. Don’t let the weather stop you from going outside.
Some would say walking in fresh air is the best preventative medicine there is! Central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Invest in suitable footwear and a waterproof jacket and you’ll never need to let the weather stop you from getting outdoors.
6. Take a regular seaweed bath
Seaweed is packed full of flu tackling goodness! Rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, seaweed is one of nature’s most-nutrient rich foods. Seaweeds draw from the sea an incomparable wealth of mineral elements, macro-elements, vitamins and trace elements. The mineral content of some seaweed’s accounts for up to 80% of its dry matter. Steep yourself in a seaweed bath and you can literally feel it working!
The warmth along with the seaweed alginate help to ease muscular aches and pain while the abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help to restore and boost the immune system. Preliminary studies in VOYA Seaweed carried out by Dr Peter Smyth from the Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research at University College Dublin, indicate that there is a measurable uptake of minerals by the skin from seaweed baths. The perfect companion for shaking off a cold or flu and an ideal way to relax this winter!
So, there you have it - 6 top tips to stay healthy and flu-free this coming winter. Let us know your thoughts and if you have any other fail-safe strategies!