Make Manuka part of your winter health toolkit
Try honey if you have a cough
A BULLETPROOF immune system is the holy grail of cold-weather health. When your immune system’s doing its job efficiently, it can help protect against a range of bugs including colds, flu and food poisoning. But at this time of year — with the kids in school, the weather cooling, and viruses flying around — a helping hand never goes amiss. From a spoonful of Manuka honey to a good sleep routine, here are five ways to support your immune system this autumn.
■ Wash your hands — frequently:
Cold viruses live on hard surfaces such as door handles and get transferred to your body via your hands. So wash them regularly with soap and warm water.
■ Get the sunshine vitamin:
Low levels of vitamin D can put you at higher risk of colds and flu, but research shows that a supplement could offer you some protection.
■ Take stress seriously:
Long-term stress can lower your immunity. Mindfulness meditation can help bolster your immune system and may even help ease cold and flu symptoms.
■ Heal with honey:
Make Manuka honey part of your winter health toolkit. The MGO (methylglyoxal) it contains has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And taking honey in general is recommended by Public Health England at the first sign of a cough. Enjoy a spoonful twice a day, or stir it into a hot drink, with lemon, ginger and cinnamon, to soothe a sore throat and cough. Choose a reputable brand such as Manuka Doctor. It meets all the criteria for quality Manuka honey as defined by the New Zealand government, and every jar comes with full traceability and transparency.
■ Prioritise sleep: Your immune system will thank you for hitting the hay early, to help it tick over efficiently.
Take half an hour to unwind before bed — and ensure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet — the best environment for a solid, immune-boosting night’s sleep.