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Posted 2020-10-22 21:10:08 UTC

How to Boost Your Immune System and Stay Healthy in the Winter

With cold and flu season upon us, in addition to Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to consider ways you can boost your natural defences during the colder months. The usual fear of flu season is amplified this year by concerns about Covid-19. So many things feel out of our control right now, but you can take precautionary measures to increase your chances of staying well this winter.

Follow Public Health England’s guidance about hand washing, social distancing and exposure control. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently, carry sanitiser with you and keep your distance in public places.

Vitamin C and Zinc

Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables. The highest sources of naturally occurring Vitamin C are citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, blackberries and broccoli. Vitamin C isn’t stored in the body, so taking excess in the form of a supplement can be pointless, although there are claims that it can shorten the life of a cold.

Taking zinc supplements may also shorten the life of a cold, but it’s best obtained from eating foods such as shellfish, meat , dairy, fortified cereal, nuts and wholegrains.

Vitamin D

Many people don’t know that vitamin D actually functions as a hormone. Primarily made by exposing skin to sunlight, a surprising number of people are deficient in Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to fatigue, frequent infections, hair loss and slow wound healing. You can top up vitamin D by increasing your intake of oily fish, red meat, eggs and dairy products, but during winter months consider taking a supplement. Look for one containing vitamin K, as this aids absorption of vitamin D.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Some people are adversely affected by the lack of sunlight and shorter days during the winter. Using a light therapy box can help, as it mimics the suns rays and encourages the production of serotonin. If you are affected by SAD, consider investing in a desk lamp or light therapy box. There are also alarm clocks which gently wake your body up by mimicking morning light.

Getting outside during your lunch hour when the sun is at its brightest can also help boost your mood.



Sanitise your hands frequently when you’re out and about with a travel sized hand sanitiser. Ultraviolet wands are also a great way to sanitise your keys or contactless payment cards. They come in portable sizes to quickly sanitise personal items and kill 99% of bacteria in seconds. They can even be used to sanitise cutlery when eating out. Keep one in your pocket, bag or car.

Cut Down on Heavy Drinking

It’s the season for mulled wine and celebration drinks, even if that’s just Zoom parties! However, alcohol dehydrates you and stops the immune system working optimally. Always drink water when you’re drinking alcohol to stay hydrated. Chronic heavy drinkers are also predisposed to gut issues, as alcohol disrupts the normal healthy gut microbiome, leading to leaky gut and lack of absorption of nutrients from food. Heavy drinkers are also more likely to have lung damage and respiratory problems.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep really is one of the best ways to protect your overall health. Lack of sleep leads to stress and a compromised immune system, making you run down and more susceptible to colds and viruses. Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off screens, making sure your bedroom is not too warm or cold and letting yourself unwind from the stresses of the day. A warm bath prepares the body for sleep by raising then lowering the body temperature and helping you relax.


Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask in many public places is now compulsory, with many doctors suggesting masks should be worn outside as well. Mask wearing protects you from respiratory droplets which are largely projected when you cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets carry Covid-19 and other viruses. Cloth face masks act as barriers, preventing those around you from inhaling the droplets. Doctors claim you can reduce exposure to droplets by 60-95% by wearing a face mask. 




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Loved by 1000’s of UK people, Pacamask face masks feature antibacterial fabric which kills 99% of bacteria for up to 50 washes.

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