Wash Your Hands Frequently
It’s what our grandmothers said, and they were right! Hand hygiene is the first line of defence against infection. We should wash our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, and use waterless hand-cleaner if anyone in the family is ill. Hand-washing is especially important before cooking and eating; before and after treating a wound; before and after caring for someone who is ill; after sneezing or blowing one’s nose; after using or assisting a child to use the toilet; after handling animals or pet food, and after contact with refuse.
Hands Down Hygiene
Keeping our hands away from the nose and mouth reduces the risk of infection.
Sneeze into the Crook of Your Arm
This prevents germs on our hands from reaching our noses. It also stops us adding to the germ count on our hands, which can infect others.
Used tissues are the definitive germ carriers and should be disposed of.
More Than Oranges
Our grandmothers had words about vitamin C too - with reason! Vitamin C strengthens immunity by assisting in creating antibodies which destroy illnesses and clear infected cells. Oranges might be the ‘poster child’ for this immune-booster, but cherries, guavas, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi fruit and broccoli actually have higher levels of vitamin C. This is not to undermine the orange, which packs a mean punch of vitamin C along with the other citrus fruits.
It’s tempting to fill up with bread and cakes in the winter months, but empty calories only make us lethargic and shall we say…bulky? Eat leafy greens which are low in calories but packed with vitamins and minerals. Other nutrient-rich foods include fruit, vegetables, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Spice Things Up
Ginger, cinnamon, thyme, cardamom, rosemary, nutmeg, turmeric, chili and cloves: these are just some of the spices known for their health benefits, from being calming and anti-inflammatory to improving circulation and having antimicrobial properties.
Be Positively Healthy
Positive thinking might be the best investment in good health. It reduces stress levels, and boosts immunity and vitality. Exercise. Go outdoors before it gets dark. Breathe deeply. Beat the winter blues. And while humans are, regrettably, not hibernators, our body rhythms naturally adjust to daylight hours and it’s beneficial to sleep a little more in winter.