Winter is still underway and for some of us, it is only just beginning. The weather is getting worse and if you've managed to avoid any seasonal illnesses, we all know it could only be a matter of time.
So here are some of our top tips to help you both avoid and fight off a cold or flu.
Lose the tissues - We've all done it when we should know better, but handkerchiefs and used tissues will only spread the virus. Don't save used tissues, a common cold and flu viruses can live for up to 48 hours, or even longer, in a warm place like a pocket or handbag. Not only that but it can spread to other things like your keys, wallet or favorite lip gloss, and transfer back onto your hands just waiting for the moment when you have an itchy nose so it can leap back into your system.
Drink plenty - When you are ill it is advised that you drink more than the recommended 8-12 glasses of water a day. Water not only helps to remove toxins from your body to help fight infection, but it tackles dehydration that can be brought on by a fever.
Kill germs - It is impossible to avoid germs unless you have a secluded bubble you can live in, so don't worry about touching things. Just carry around some anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes to help fight any germs before they can take hold. If you don't want to do that then simply washing your hands often in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds will make all the difference.
Rest - The less you sleep, the less effective your immune system is. It is advised that you sleep for around eight hours or more a night to give your body enough energy to help fight the illness.
Eat - Although there is an old phrase about starving a cold, it actually helps to eat when you feel the early symptoms of a cold setting in as starving a cold or flu only makes it harder for your body to recover from the illness.
Drink tea - Ok so this may not be your cup of tea but it has been shown by Canadian researchers that green tea in particular, has high amounts of EGCG, a chemical that helps to stop the virus from replicating.
Garlic - If consumed regularly, it may prevent a cold or even help you to make a speedier recovery. Eating it in your cooking may make your breath smell, but it could save you days of illness, plus you could always buy it as an odourless pill.
Vitamin C - Taking this vitamin regularly could help to reduce the amount of time you are ill for and if you are already ill, it may decrease symptoms such as a sore throat or a runny nose. This vitamin is a natural antihistamine and can be found in orange juice and grapefruit juice as well as broccoli and tomatoes.
Vitamin E - This vitamin is a natural anti-oxidant which has many positive benefits on the body, including improving circulation and promoting healing. A way to get vitamin E into your diet it through nuts, seeds and vegetable oils as well as in some green leafy vegetables.