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Home > Health Hub > Article > FIGHT THE FLU THIS WINTER!


Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   8 min     


Winter is coming; when mom started saying- “Bundle up, you’re going to catch a cold.” And, what came in your mind when you hear Flu? A runny nose, a sore throat, fever and headache all the time. Winter is an alarming season for Flu, and every year it comes without fail. 

In this article, you will get to know-

  • What is flu?

  • Winter Flu/Cold Symptoms

  • Flu Season in India

  • Facts about Winter Flu

  • Difference Between Common Cold And Flu

  • Preventive methods to stay safe during winter

  • Effective Home- Remedies For Winter Cold and Flu

What is Flu?

To understand why we consider winter as a flu season, you have to understand what the Flu is? One of the biggest myths we used to believe is “We get flu because of the cold.” The Flu, also called influenza, is a viral respiratory illness. A virus is a microscopic infectious agent that invades the cells of your body and makes you sick. The Flu is often confused with another infection, the common cold, because of the similarity in symptoms, which can include a cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose. There is a theory that the influenza virus survives better in cold and dry weather. Because in humid weather, water droplet in air fall to the ground. When this happens, the germs and virus also fell. And, in the summer there is a lack of humidity, water droplets in the air can survive longer and prolong the amount of time the virus hangs around. 

Flu Season in India

In India, winter starts from October and reach to peak in February and March. It’s not considered a severe illness because it rarely causes hospitalisation in healthy people and kills, causing complications and co-infections and aggravating existing diseases. The cause of death is seldom recorded as influenza. But it can be deadly, so don’t forget to flu shots. Another contributing factor of Flu is being indoors most of the time in winter. When we stayed very close to each other and used to shut windows and doors to keep the room warm. When it’s most likely to pass germs to each other. And, also there is a lack of sunlight which has vitamin D and melatonin. Both nutrients are essential for our immune system. Therefore, in winters, it’s easier to get the Flu. And, when we don’t have the right tools to fight. 

Winter Flu/Cold Symptoms

  • Fever

  • Cold sweats

  • Aches throughout the body

  • Headache

  • Exhaustion

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting and diarrhoea)

  • Muscle Aches

  • Loss of Appetite

  • Chills

  • Fever (Sometimes)

Difference Between Common Cold And Flu

You have to understand the difference between Common cold and Flu, because the virus causes these, do not essential to behave in the same way. 

  • There are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are by far the most common culprits.

  • Many people infected with a common cold virus are lucky enough not to experience any symptoms at all.

  • The Flu is caused by the influenza virus, of which there are three types: influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. 

  • Common colds and flu share many symptoms, but infection with influenza often also manifests with a high temperature, aching, and cold sweats or shivers — an excellent way to tell the two apart.

Facts about Winter Flu

Flu like illness can be caused by many different flu viruses. Influenza A / H1N1 (earlier called 'swine flu") is a type of seasonal flu virus that now occurs around the world. 

  • Influenza virus can get you one day before even when you feel you’re sick- and up to seven days after symptoms begin.

  • It’s recommended to get your vaccination by the end of October.

  • Flu virus thrives in cold and dry weather.

  • Influenza vaccine can reduce the chances of getting the cold by 50 to 60 percentage.

  • A nasal spray is available for the people of age 2 to 49 years. However, it shouldn’t be used for people with such medical conditions; pregnant women, people with weak immune system, people with diabetes, heart problems and kidney, liver problems.

Preventive methods to stay safe during winter!

Flu is the most widespread illnesses that people suffer from during the winter months. There are a lot of ways to boost your immunity in winters. 

  • Eat a balanced diet with whole foods- You need many nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as minerals selenium and zinc, and omega 3s, to support your immune system. Legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, as well as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Superfoods such as bee pollen, Camu Camu, mushroom, and microalgae can give you an extra boost. Avoid processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars.

  • Get plenty of Vitamin C- Vitamin C strengthens our immune system and keeps our body healthy. Food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables.

  • Use herbs and spices- Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry, and turmeric. It helps to boost our immune system.

  • Drink plenty of clean water- Water helps in the production of lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day- Chronic fatigue is known to increase the risk of illness. The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it is at rest.

  • Say hello to friendly bacteria- Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in whole and fermented foods. Such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and microalgae.

  • If possible, avoid antibiotics- They attack beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and suppress immune functions.

  • Meditate- Meditation can cut your chances of catching a cold by 40 to 50%. It reduces the physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system.

  • Exercise- People who exercise five or more days spend 43% fewer days with upper-respiratory infections. It boosts blood flow so that the immune cells circulate throughout the body.

  • Wash hands often- Cleaning your hands frequently, especially after touching anyone or anything that may be germy.

  • Add astragalus- It activates T-cells, the white blood cells that fight off viruses and it can prevent cold.

Effective Home- Remedies For Winter Cold and Flu

There are plenty of home remedies which can make you feel better in the winter cold and Flu. Because the combination of bodyache, headache, running nose and chills can make anyone miserable. 

Keep reading to know some amazing home remedies for winter cold-

1. Ginger- The benefits of ginger roots to our health is well known and also, mentioned in Ayurveda. You can easily find it in your kitchen. There is scientific proof of the curative effects of ginger. 

How To Make- For 1 Serving

Ingredients- 1 Gram Ginger, 300ml Water & 1 tablespoon Honey (Optional)

  • Take few slices of chopped 1 gram ginger

  • Boil them with 300 ml water for up to 30 mins 

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of honey

  • Drink this lukewarm ginger water three to four times a day.

2. Chicken Soup- Chicken soup is not a cure of the cold or Flu. But you will feel better and relaxed with body ache and headache after having it. 

How To Make- For 10 Servings

Ingredients- 1 (3 pounds) whole chicken, four carrots, halved, four stalks celery, halved, one large onion-halved. water to cover, salt and pepper to taste, one teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional) 

  • Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Heat and simmer, uncovered until the chicken meat falls off of the bones (skim off foam every so often). 

  • Take everything out of the pot. Strain the broth. Pick the meat off of the bones and chop the carrots, celery and onion. Season the broth with salt, pepper and chicken bouillon to taste, if desired. Return the chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the pot, stir together, and serve.

3. Honey- Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain. 

How To Take- For 1 Serving

Ingredients- 10 gram Honey and one glass water

  • Take lukewarm one glass water

  • Mix 10-gram honey and drink.

4. Garlic- Garlic contains the compound allicin, which may have antimicrobial properties. You can add it to your food or eat it raw.

How to take- For 1 Serving

Ingredients- Two Pieces of garlic

  • Roast it 

  • And, eat it

5. Salt Water- Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens.

How to take- For 1 Serving

Ingredients- 2 tablespoon Salt and 1 lukewarm glass water

  • Take one lukewarm glass water

  • Mix 2 tablespoon of salt

  • Swish it around your mouth and throat

  • Then spit it out

Take precautions and try out these super easy home remedies to stay healthy in winters.

Happy & Healthy Winter!!

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Tags:  healthy winter foods,Immunity,cold and flu,winter,Winter Flu, Home remedies

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