Winter colds, flus & the blues

Colds, flu and the dreaded blues… whilst winter has a tonne of fun stuff in its favour (snow and Christmas pressies, anyone?), health-wise, it can sometimes be a bit of a bind.

LK reveals how to support your body and mind through the winter months, and leave them feeling like it’s spring…

Say YES to supplements 
Vitamin C is the immune system’s best friend, and should be yours during winter. Consume lots of food packed full of the stuff (citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli) or, if you naughtily shy away from your five-a-day, head straight to your local health store and purchase a supplement. Our bodies create vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight and, if we’re short on rays, a D-shaped deficiency can occur (bad news for bones, your weight and your mood). If you’re not getting out and about during the big chill, a shop-bought supplement is an absolute must.

See the light 
Invest in a therapeutic light box if you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or feel out of sorts when your vitamin D takes a dip in the winter. Costs vary, but you can pick up a mini one for just under £40. It will be money well spent, 60-80% of sufferers say they saw a definite improvement after using one. 

Eat cold-fighting foods
There are lots of different foodstuffs associated with warding off colds and flus, and bolstering the immune system, including: Garlic (the allicin it contains is famous for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties); sweet potatoes (full of vitamin A, which protects ‘mucosal’ surfaces – e.g. the inside of your nose – and holds up a ‘no entry’ to germs); and turmeric (a natural anti-inflammatory, which also shows toxins the door and makes a great addition to warming winter curries). Meanwhile, if it’s your mind that’s feeling under the weather, wild salmon or tofu are teaming with vitamin B, which supports the production of mood-enhancing seroton