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June 2017

How to avoid catching flu this winter

Written by Nicole Horne
Cleanliness and Hygiene, Health and Safety

While many of us love the idea of warm knitted jackets, onesies, hot chocolate and cosying up beneath blankets and switching the heater on, the start of winter also means the start of the cold and flu season.

The good news is that there is plenty you can do to avoid catching the flu this year. We have listed some of the most effective techniques below.

Stock up on healthy food

Healthy foods are packed with nutrients and this is exactly what you need to build up a strong immune system. There are many foods that not only boost your immune system, but also help to build the healthy cells you need to feel better even when you’re already ill.

If you haven’t already, make sure you add these seven superfoods to your trolley this winter:

  • Garlic – helps promote healthy gut flora which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses
  • Beef – a good source of zinc which is important in the development of white blood cells because they defend your body against illnesses
  • Sweet potato – a great source of Vitamin A which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces
  • Turmeric – studies have shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to coughs, colds and congestion
  • Dark leafy greens – anything like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula are all great sources of the cold-fighting Vitamin C
  • Wild salmon – something we lack in winter is Vitamin D which is why we’re more prone to getting ill. Wild salmon, canned tuna and egg yolks are all fantastic sources of it.
  • Chicken soup – it’s not a myth, chicken soup really is good for you when you’re ill. The hot liquid helps to loosen mucus secretions, maintain your body temperature and keep you hydrated

Take care of yourself

When it’s freezing cold outside it’s very easy to put off exercise and turn to comfort food. As hard as it can be to stay motivated, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly if you don’t want to make yourself more susceptible to catching a cold or flu.

Practice good hygiene

Good hand hygiene is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick this winter and from spreading germs to others.

Did you know that drying your hands is just important as washing them? Wet hands are a breeding ground for bacteria yet so many of us are guilty of wiping our hands on our clothes or walking out the bathroom with wet hands.

A study carried out by the University of Bradford found that how wet our hands are can greatly influence bacterial transfer and how easily germs are spread to the surfaces into which we come in contact. It’s thought that this occurs because bacteria may be maintained in a physiological state which makes it easier for it to survive in its new environment.

For more information about hand washing and drying or to view our range of products, please feel free to visit our hand hygiene page or contact Initial for more information.

Contact us

Nicole Horne

Nicole Horne

Nicole is a Digital Marketing Executive at Rentokil Initial Hygiene in Johannesburg. A self-proclaimed germaphobe, her love for hygienic environments and curiosity of all things “beneath the surface” fuels her enthusiasm for writing about the impact of germs in the workplace. She is passionate about creating awareness and sharing her knowledge on the impact of good hygiene practices. Follow Nicole on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on the the good, the bad and the germy.

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