Many people believe that there are more germs flying around in the cooler weather, which is not true. It's the fact that we spend more time inside, with typically very dry air, which makes it easier for viruses to pass through the skin, eyes and nasal passages
There are many discussions going on right now about which vitamins to take during the cold season to strengthen the immune system and what else to do to stay healthy.
I personally don't believe vitamins, especially chemical ones, are the one and only answer.Instead of spending money and relying on synthetics, read these tips that may help you stay healthy during the coming months:
- Get your daily dose of healthy vitamins through a green smoothie (mix fresh vegetables, preferably green such as spinach, kale, chard and also carrots, celery, bananas, any fresh fruits you like with some dates for sweetness, and water) - the whole family from baby to grandparents can drink it and will benefit from it way more than from any man-made multi-vitamin
- Add fresh garlic and ginger to your diet, as much and as often as you can (garlic can go in pretty much every main dish, ginger can be added to smoothies or taken as a tea)
- Take a teaspoon of the almond-honey-ginger-paste. My sons' pediatrician gave me this recipe years ago and ever since my family is taking a teaspoon full every morning to fight off germs: blend about 1 1/2 cup of raw almonds, a big chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into smaller pieces, and 1 cup raw honey in blender. I store it in a glass jar in the fridge
- Wash your hands. Frequently and thorough. With soap and water, and make sure you get under and around the nails (where germs love to hide and are tough to remove)
- Get outside! Not only will it keep your level of natural Vitamin D up (which will strengthen your immune system as well!), it also moisturizes your skin, eyes and nasal passages, making it harder for those germs to pass through
- Keep your gut healthy. For many years, our family was taking probiotics on a daily basis. Only months ago I learned that every little bite of fermented foods or drinks actually gives you more benefits than any man-made probiotic will ever do. I started making my own water-kefir, a fermented, water-based drink for the whole family. It works very well for all of us
- Drink plenty. Preferably pure water and quality teas, unsweetened
- Eat a whole foods diet. As little processed food as possible, which means staying away from prepared meals, fast foods and the like
- Don't be paranoid. I know, this is easier said than done (whoever knows me knows exactly what I mean :-) - obviously stay away from people who are sick, or stay away from people when you're sick. But keep in mind that, especially for children, it is important to be exposed to germs. Healthy individuals will deal with the cold or even the flu just fine and it will strengthen the immune system, making the body stronger to deal with all kinds of bacteria and viruses
- Get rest. Especially when you're dealing with a cold or flu, rest, rest and rest. Don't suppress a fever (until it's skyrocketing). Sore throats love honey. Take extra vitamin C and relax. You're going to be just fine.