Out of the Cold

Strategies to keep the germs away and decrease the chances of catching a virus.

How To Decrease Your Chances Of Catching A Cold
Photo: Thinkstock

1. Put a box of tissues wherever people sit: Place tissue boxes strategically around the house, at work, and in the car. You need tissues widely available so that anyone who has to cough or sneeze or blow their nose can do so in the way least likely to spread germs.

2. Leave the windows open a crack in winter: Not all of them, but one or two in the rooms in which you spend the most time. Fresh air does wonders for chasing out germs.

3. Add green tea and an apple to your morning break: Recent research by food nutritionists at Auckland University in New Zealand, found that eating food rich in flavonoids, a group of antioxidants, could lower the risk of adults catching a cold by as much as 33%. Flavonoids are found in green tea, apples, blueberries, red wine and cocoa. Eating five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day in a variety of colours is the ideal way to ensure you get enough flavonoids in your diet.

4. Use your knuckle to gently rub your eyes: The knuckle is less likely to be contaminated with viruses than your fingertip. The eye provides a perfect entry point for germs, and the average person rubs his eyes or nose or scratches his face 20-50 times a day, making fingers particularly good at transmitting germs.

5. Eat a container of yoghurt every day: A study from the University of California-Davis found that people who ate one cup of yoghurt – whether live culture or pasteurised – had 25% fewer colds than non-yoghurt eaters.

6. Don’t be lazy with laundry: Change or wash hand towels every three or four days during cold and flu season. Wash them in hot water to kill the germs.

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