Sunday, 11 October 2015

How Busy Mums Can Banish Colds and Flu

Avoiding cold and flu during the chillier months can be tricky.  The typical working mum is bombarded by germs and viruses at home and in the workplace. 

That's why I've started to think about supporting my health through winter by taking Pharma Nord's Bio-Multi Woman. It's refreshing to see a multi-vitamin that is designed specifically for women – we are more likely to have deficiencies such as iron, B vitamins and iodine. Even a slight deficiency in these essential nutrients can lead to tiredness which I have daily! Bio-Multi Woman combines 16 vitamins and minerals including iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin D3, magnesium, folic acid, selenium and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12.

There are simple ways to help keep illness at bay, reduce fatigue and prime yourself for the inevitable onslaught of sniffles and sneezes.  Expert Nutritionist Babi Chana at Pharma Nord explains how:

Cold and flu protection – start with the basics

Cold and flu prevention starts with a strong immune system. Keep active, keep your diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in sugar.

Modern food processing methods leave our diet bereft of key immune-boosting nutrients, so take a high quality multivitamin daily. Bio-Multi Woman is a good choice as it's blister packed to protect against degradation, which can occur when vitamins are kept in jars. 

Don't forget to wash your hands regularly, especially when you're in regular contact with the kids, public transport and communal buildings.  Soap and water is as effective as antibacterial handwash.

Myth-busting facts about cold and flu

Vitamin D3 may be better than vitamin C for cold and flu protection.  Studies in Finland and Japan showed that adults and children who had adequate vitamin D levels were less likely to get respiratory illnesses. This could be because vitamin D supports our production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial proteins.

Sadly, over half the UK population is deficient in vitamin D, due to a lack of good sun exposure. Take an oil-based vitamin D supplement for best absorption, avoiding dry, chalky tablets.  

Orange juice and fruit juices don't help!  While they provide a tiny amount of vitamin C and some hydration, fruit juices contain harmful sugars that stifle our immune defences. Stick to water and herbal teas without caffeine.

Cold and flu do's and don'ts

DO take action straight away. Pharma Nord has a Bio-InfluZinc+C pastille that delivers zinc directly into the mouth. It's now understood that zinc, administered within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, reduces the duration and severity of a cold in healthy people. Zinc and vitamin C are best taken every few hours, rather than in one big amount.

DO get some sleep and seek ways to reduce your stress levels - they impact on your immune health.

DON'T eat high sugar foods.  They have an almost instant impact on your white blood cells, making it harder to kill germs.

Look for signs of illness

The first sign of a cold is often a tingling sensation at the back of the throat, or a tell-tale sneeze, followed by congestion and sometimes a headache.  The flu is much harsher and involves aches, pains and fever, which require bed rest. Don't try to work with the flu. Rest and good nutrition will be more effective. 

For free advice on keeping your immune system healthy, talk to the experts at Pharma Nord. Visit or call 0800 591 756. 

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