It's almost winter- you know what that means? Cuffing season! Yes, the cold weather, the darkness at 4pm, and the whole chilly atmosphere generally has us dreaming of that perfect someone to cuddle up to in the cold nights of winter. But do you know what really sucks? When your cuffing season gets interrupted by a cold or flu...
We’ve asked a pharmacist for some top tips on how you can take care of yourself this winter (and every season) and keep those colds at bay! Most of the answers are within the foods we eat. Here's what she advises:
Vitamin C is known to be useful in preventing colds and flus- they help boost immunity and protect the body from infections. These can be taken as supplements, or in foods high in vitamin c such as oranges.
But that’s not the only benefit of vitamin C; it’s also been linked to protecting our memories and thinking as we age (e.g. studies of dementia patients found them to have low levels of vitamin C), as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. Basically, the benefits of vitamin C go way beyond preventing colds and flus- and it’s essential we include it in our diet.
Garlic doesn’t only keep vampires at bay, it keeps colds at bay too!
Garlic can provide many health benefits and has been used as a mediicnal herb for centuries! It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties.
There was actually a study to find that people who took garlic would get sick less often than a placebo group. You can either take garlic supplements, or incorporate it into your food to help you with cold and flu symptoms.
Ginger is another fantastic food to use to help you when feeling sick. It’s well known for getting rid of nausea and vomiting. Be sure to use fresh ginger in your cooking rather just ginger flavouring, as that won’t help you feel better.
Honey is actually menitoned in the Quran for it’s healing properties; it states in chapter 16 (Surah al-Nahl, the Chapter of the Bee), verses 69-70:
“And thy Lord has inspired the bee, saying, ‘Make thou houses in the hills and in the trees and in the trellises which they build. Then eat of every kind of fruit, and follow the ways of thy Lord that have been made easy for thee.’ There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying hues. Therein is cure for men. Surely, in that is a Sign for a people who reflect.”
Honey is also recognised in the Western world for it’s healing properties, it is known to have potent antibacterial effects, it’s a brilliant food to eat- a spoonful a day could help prevent a sore throat (one of the most evil symptoms of a cold!). You could also mix some honey with hot milk to heal a sore throat.
It is important to exercise regularly in general as it has many health beenfits, especially for the heart, but this can also reduce the chances of you catching a cold. A study back in 2010 found that people that did regular exercise cut their risk of a cold almost by half! People that exercise regularly also report having less severe cold symptoms then those that don’t.
If you struggle to execrise, just attempt a 15 minute brisk walk a day, and then increase the time weekly (e.g. next week 20mins, then the week after 30 etc.) even that makes a difference.
The best thing you can do is always making dua; here are some duas you can recite to protect yourself from illness:
اللَّهُمَّ ربَّ النَّاسِ ، أَذْهِب الْبَأسَ ، واشْفِ ، أَنْتَ الشَّافي لا شِفَاءَ إِلاَّ شِفَاؤُكَ ، شِفاءً لا يُغَادِرُ سقَماً
“O Allah, Lord of mankind, do away with my suffering. Heal (me) as You are the only Healer and there is no cure except that of Yours, it is that which leaves no ailment behind”
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ، وَالْجُنُونِ، وَالْجُذَامِ، وَمِنْ سَيِّئِ الأَسْقَامِ
"O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leprosy, insanity, elephantiasis, and the worst of diseases."
May we all be in the best health this winter, and in every season, Ameen.
Special thank you to Miss Abdul Hamid for helping us put this blog together ❤️