Thursday, April 1, 2010

A change of season

April on the Highveld usually brings the most beautiful weather: warm, with clear sunny skies but cool in the early morning and evening. You can tell that winter is approaching, though, so now is the time to build up your immune system ready for the colder weather ahead and the annual cold and ‘flu viruses.

Yes, colds and ‘flu are viruses, so going to the doctor and asking for a course of antibiotics will not help you in the least. What you need to do is follow some healthy practices - eat nutritious food, get enough rest and take regular exercise. Prevention is better than cure, right?

The immune system protects us against infection; if it’s not functioning optimally then we are more susceptible to sickness and the effects of environmental pollution. We can help it work properly by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – make the contents of your dinner plate as colourful as possible by including orange, green, red and purple vegetables, and try to eat half your food raw.
Colourful fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which all help us to fight disease. Ginger, garlic, chilli peppers, figs and fish all boost the immune system, too.

If you do succumb to cold or ‘flu germs, then drink plenty of fluids. Cold fluids (water, fruit juice) loosen mucus and get it moving out of the body while hot liquids move viruses and germs out of the nose.
Avoid caffeine, it can dehydrate you. And don’t eat or drink too much dairy - it increases the production of phlegm. Get plenty of rest and take things easy, too. You'll get better that much faster.

Stay well.

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