Daily Mail

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.

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