It’s that time of year again… So if you like to be well prepared for all contingencies, start stocking up on the tissues, invest in a litre of delicately fragranced decongestant and keep the honey, lemon and whisky on stand-by, ready to whip up a swift, restorative hot toddy when the need arises.
Yet surely there must be something else we can do, rather than simply sit and wait for the inevitable onset of the winter’s latest flu lurgy?
Well, boosting your immune system in the run-up to the flu season is a sensible start – and one of the most effective ways to do this is by eating a healthy, balanced diet. We’re all familiar with the concept of eating healthily – but we’re possibly not all quite so familiar with which foods might actually help us fend off flu most effectively.
The list of flu-fighting foods includes probiotic yoghurt, garlic, red peppers, broccoli, beef, Brazil nuts and sweet potatoes. By including foods such as these ones regularly in your diet, you’ll give your immune system a welcome boost just as the winter bugs start breeding, ready to do their worst.
As John Kuropatwa, the executive chef of a leading New Jersey restaurant explains: “While it is important to eat healthily all year, it is especially so during the flu season. You need all the help you can get, to avoid getting the flu. Many people do not realise they can help prevent illnesses by boosting their immune system.”
One effective way of giving your run-down immune system a head start in your “fend off flu campaign” is to treat yourself (and possibly a friend or a relative) to a spa break. Simply spending time in the restful surroundings of a luxurious spa will help your body build up its strength in preparation for the battles ahead this winter.
Enhance your restorative spa experience with a massage, a soothing facial and – depending on how fit you are! – an aerobics workout, followed by a dinner prepared from fresh, low-fat local produce, and your immune system will already be waking up to smell the (caffeine-free) coffee and getting ready for the fight.
Once you’ve taken that all-important first step on the road to a healthier lifestyle, the key – and the tricky bit – is to keep up the good work day in day out.
So why not set yourself the target of eating and exercising healthily for the next month and incentivise yourself with the promise of another wonderful spa visit at the end of that long month – provided you’ve been good, of course.
That way you’ll win all round: reducing your chances of catching flu whilst cherishing the prospect of a heavenly spa break ahead.