By Monika Bock
With spring come brighter longer days, warmer temperatures (we can hope) and more time spent outdoors. All too often, we get excited that the cold season is behind us and then all of a sudden, we are struck down (again) with a cold.
You might ask yourself – How can this be? Didn’t we just get through the cold/flu season?
Well, it turns out, it’s not the sudden temperature change that causes you to catch a cold. The fact is that when it gets warmer a new set of viruses will start to flourish. The cold dry air in winter is perfect for the influenza virus to multiply and wreak havoc on our immune systems. But as the weather turns warmer, other viruses like the rhonovirus thrive.
To combat the spread of germs and to boost your immunity try to incorporate these things into your diet and life:
- Fluids: Staying hydrated is important in many aspects, but especially to help us fight off colds. Our body is made up of 75% water, so drinking is one key to staying healthy. Water provides your body with the means to get nutrients absorbed and waste carried out. If you are dehydrated and try to fight off a virus or bacteria your body will have a more difficult time winning the fight. Herbal teas, water with lemon, and fizzy water all count toward your daily intake (skip the sodas, excessive coffees, and fruit juices.)
- Wash your hands: Washing your hands at regular intervals (after being out and about, after using the toilet, at a restaurant, etc.) can also keep spring colds at bay. Washing your hands with normal soap and warm water is just as effective as washing them with antibacterial soap. In fact, the American FDA and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) both suggest avoiding antibacterial soaps as studies have found there really isn’t a difference in the amount of bacteria they kill.
- Eat the rainbow: No, I’m definitely not talking about candy here, but rather all sorts of colored fruits and vegetables. Ensuring that your plate is full of different colors (red, green, purple, blue, yellow, orange) at every meal will also ensure you are getting a plethora of antioxidants which helps your body protect you from that next virus.
- Clean your phone: When was the last time you disinfected and wiped down your phone? Our phones (and other mobile devices) go everywhere with us and we take them out of our purse and pockets and use them multiple times a day in different places. We place them down on a restaurant tables, on the waiting room seats, after we’ve been browsing in a store, etc. An easy and effective way to combat the collection of germs that live on your phone is to wipe it down with an alcohol wipe everyday. Try getting into the habit of wiping down your phone after you’ve washed your hands when you return home. If your case is made out of plastic, you can easily pop it off and wash it with warm water and soap and dry it with a soft cloth. And remember, be sure not to get your phone near water and if using a disinfectant spray, spray a soft cloth first and then use it on your phone.
Monika Bock is a holistic nutritionist based in Munich, she is the owner of Nourish-Alō Holistic Nutrition and whose motto is Nourish/Thrive/Sustain. She loves starting her day with a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Monika works with a diverse clientele with various health concerns and goals. Acknowledging that EveryBODY is different and people have individual needs, she addresses these needs through a whole food nutrition program and lifestyle change approach.
Her March nutrition workshops can be found on her webpage: www.nourish-alo.com or by following her on Facebook. Reduced rates available for Übermoms group. Special Übermoms workshops are being scheduled for the first week in April: Eating healthy in Munich (An ex-pat’s guide to navigating the search for & using healthy foods) & Clean Eating for Healthy Kids. More information on upcoming workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org