Articles for Good Living

What to do to prevent winter viruses?

Wash your hands

Although most infections are mainly carried in the air and transmitted by the "aerosol" effect when someone sneezes, germs can be transmitted by physical contact and enter the body when infected hands touch vulnerable parts like our eyes, mouths and noses.

These areas offer easy access to invading germs despite being equipped with defence mechanisms such as mucous and hairs. Washing hands often - and drying them on disposable paper towels can significantly reduce the chances of catching a virus.

Zinc and garlic

The mineral zinc is essential to help fight colds and provide a boost to a flagging immune system. Good food sources include meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, tofu, black- eyed peas and wheat germ. Zinc and Vitamin C make a great cold-busting duo.

Garlic helps ease chest complaints and small amounts taken daily may also reduce the frequency of colds and flu.


Drink plenty

Doctors recommend we drink about eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy. Water helps the kidneys function properly and flushes out the toxins that accumulate in our bodies.

If you have a cold, being dehydrated makes your mucus drier and thicker and less able to cope against invading bacteria and viruses. If you've already caught a cold, drinking plenty of fluids will help flush out the infection.

Sleep soundly

Lack of sleep makes us more prone to infection. But it's not a matter of simply sleeping for longer, as some people - especially those who are positively motivated - can have fewer than seven hours sleep every night and not suffer at all.

Moods also affect our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you're feeling buoyant, happy and relaxed