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An Apple a Day: Colds and Flu

Dr Jenna Macciochi reveals the best natural ways to fight off colds and flu

WHAT ARE COLDS AND HOW DO WE GET THEM?

At the end of summer, when that first nip is in the air, it marks the start of cold and flu season. During our lifetime, we can experience an average of 200 colds – that’s five years of coughs, congestion, headaches and sore throats. Caused by viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, the common cold is usually harmless, although it might not feel that way at the time. The most common cold-causing culprits are the rhinovirus family, of which there are around 160 different cold causing ‘serotypes’, making it possible to have several colds one after another. Viral DNA changes frequently, which makes the immune system’s job quite difficult and explains why we tend to get so many throughout our lives. Although you can get a cold anytime, summer viruses tend to be caused by enteroviruses, which prefer warmer climates and tend to be more vicious and lingering. Rhinoviruses prefer cooler climates, which is, in part, why colds are more prevalent in winter. Cooler weather also tends to drive people indoors and therefore reduces vitamin D from sunlight – a key factor in regulating the immune system.

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About PlantBased

Welcome to our wonderful November issue. This month it’s all about comfort – wave goodbye to those slim-fitting summer clothes and shimmy on into your favourite jeans, a thick-knit jumper and even a pair of slippers if you want to ‘go the full mile’… for winter is finally upon us. It always surprises me when we reach this time of year, how much I actually enjoy the winter season. Though it seems to stretch on for an eternity, after the glorious summer we’ve had, the crisp, fresh mornings, pale blue skies and frost-covered grass are a welcome sight. Winter also brings with it a host of festivities, each as exciting as the next and each demanding their own delicious festive feast. And though we’re moving towards the season of true indulgence – Christmas – it’s important not to completely forget the healthy, plant-based diet you’ve been working all year to follow. To help you keep on the right track, we’re talking to Dr. Sarah Brewer about the importance of protein (p.46); we’ll introduce you to the veg you could be missing: cavolo nero (p.48), and we’re even getting a little advice from one of our favourite doctors, Dr. Jenna Macciochi, on how to steer