As the weather turns colder it’s often tempting to curl up on the sofa and eat all the wrong things. Whilst a little rest and recuperation is great if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, the key to enjoying life in general is in looking after yourself as this in turn will ward off any unwanted bugs.
Up Your Fruit & Veg Quota
Eating well in the season where the supermarket shelves are stacked with naughty treats, can be a challenge. However, balance is the key and upping your daily quota of fruit and veg will certainly keep those vitamin and mineral levels up.
- Introduce some exotics such as pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi and mandarin to your breakfast?
- Indulge in some healthy soups and hearty winter casseroles. For best results trim the fat off any meat and add some fibre in the form of lentils, chickpeas or other pulses. Also keep an eye on that salt content.
- Stock up the freezer – frozen veg often retain more nutrients.
- Steam, don’t boil as this retains more nutrients.
- Did you know mushrooms have natural antibiotics within them and they can also make a good alternative to meat?
- Increase that fibre as it will help reduce cholesterol levels and protect against diabetes.
- Add some spice – ginger, garlic and turmeric have all been shown to be beneficial in improving immunity. The yellow colouring in turmeric, called curcumin, is traditionally used in Indian and Chinese medicine as it’s also a powerful antioxidant.
Make It Spicy
Adding spices is an age-old recipe for good health. Used in Indian and Chinese medicine, the following are often recommended:
- Ginger – anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Turmeric – The yellow colouring in turmeric, called curcumin, is t a powerful antioxidant.
- Garlic – One clove of garlic contains Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1 as well as fibre.
Have A Cuppa
Most supermarkets now stock a wide range of flavoured teas and they’re worth a try. Some of the favourites for wellbeing include:
- Ginger – same qualities as mentioned above. Rose Hip is similar.
- Hibiscus – antiviral and also has a positive effect on high blood pressure
- Echinacea – helps fight off viruses. Some studies have shown drinking it can help shorten the length of a cold.
- Chamomile – a helpful sleep aid.
Add a Supplement
If you feel you’re picking up cold after cold or just not on top of your game, then it may be worth considering supplements.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – some studies have shown these have anti-inflammatory and anti-depressive qualities. If you’re not a fan of flaxseeds, canola oil or oily fish, a good quality supplement may help.
- Vitamin C – a good weapon against the common cold.
- Vitamin D – especially helpful for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, it not only helps relieve depression but also helps in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin c, iron and calcium.
Get Out & About
If your morning jog is a bit of a frosty one or your evening stroll would now take place in darkness, it can be tempting to retreat to the couch. Instead, why not join an indoor team? Be it badminton, bowling, yoga or dance, exercise will not only ward off winter bugs, it will raise your endorphin levels and make you feel happier. Taking yourself to social events is also another great way to feel connected and part of life. If you’re not sure what to do, why not take a look at the following for inspiration:
- The British Heart Foundation have events you can join including walking and cycling groups, swims and triathlons. You can even raise money for them by skydiving if you’re feeling adventurous! https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/events
- Meetupcom has lots of events by area. There’s a website, an app and they’re on social media.
- Spiceuk is a great way to meet people ad make friends as there’s lots of different events for your social life.
- Also specialist groups for people with particular needs and their carers such as those run by The Alzheimer’s Society
After all that food, why not do the washing up? In the very least, washing your hands properly during the day, can help reduce exposure to germs and viruses lingering on surfaces. Anti-bacterial handwash isn’t actually as effective as good old soap and water – hence why doctors preparing for an operation will still scrub thoroughly.
If the delights of the season aren’t with you, take a look online and book some time away. Although six weeks in Australia might not be affordable, just planning your next holiday can give you something to look forward to.