Just because it’s common doesn’t mean you have to get a cold this winter.
Toronto-based nurse and homeopath Jill McChesney says revamping your diet, extra vitamins, solid sleep and careful hand-washing can keep you sniffle-free even when everyone around you is Germ Central.
“Repeated antibiotic use depletes your body’s defences,” says McChesney.
She said it’s important to get the body’s natural immune system up to peak strength by eating lots of colourful vegetables and fruits — anything red, green, orange or yellow. Think citrus, avocados, broccoli, and lots of nuts for natural zinc.
At the very least, she said, cut out the sugar.
“When the number one ingredient of something is sugar, you’re basically shutting your immune system down,” McChesney said.
“As parents, we think we’re doing good when we give our kids juice, but when you look at the ingredients, it’s high in fructose. They’re vulnerable. Have water.”
If you can’t hack the oranges and avocados, pick up some vitamin A, C, and D. Zinc helps if you take it at the first signs of a cold.
Stop burning the midnight oil. People who get a full eight hours fight off germs better.
We all know we’re supposed to wash our hands, but McChesney says most of us don’t do it right. Make sure the water is hot enough, wash between fingers, and keep going for a good 10 seconds — try singing a song while you do it.
For kids, draw pictures of germs to explain why they need to wash so often. Get fun kids’ soap, and change towels more than once a week.
She also recommends changing your dishcloth as often as possible, cleaning out sink drain traps and replacing your toothbrush several times a year.