How to stay healthy and sickness free during this harmattan season

The harmattan season is upon us once again. This is the season where ailments such as a cough, catarrh, cold and asthma run rampant as a result of the cold, dry and extremely dusty weather.

To stay healthy and cold-free this season, stock up on foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will help fight cold symptoms. They are preventative as well and will help boost your immunity against colds.


A cup of fresh, hot ginger tea may seem just the thing when you’re nursing a cold. But you don’t have to wait until you have one to drink it.

Some studies show this spicy root may prevent the common cold by blocking the virus.


They won’t help you kick your cold, but chili peppers can clear out your nasal passages, and that can make you feel better. They have something called capsaicin, which studies show may help with your stuffy head.


You’ve heard it before: To avoid colds, get plenty of vitamin C. Truth is, it won’t keep most of us from catching one. (It may help if you’re around people who get sick often, like at a daycare). But if you get a lot of it right before you notice symptoms, it may make you feel better and help you get rid of a cold faster. Oranges, lemons, limes – they’re all sources of vitamin C and can be tasty, too.

Chicken Soup

You should have some as studies show it clears nasal passages and congestion better than other hot liquids. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that may help your cold symptoms.

Germ Fighters

Kale, broccoli, cranberries, green tea, red onions, blueberries: What do these have in common? All have an antioxidant called quercetin that may help you fight the common cold. The research here is pretty new, but they may be on to something.


Scientists think garlic has some things in it that may fight the common cold. They’re still figuring out how exactly, but early studies are promising. However it works, it’s a good excuse to toss in a few extra cloves.

Caffeine and Alcohol

You’re better off avoiding these. You need lots of liquids when you have a cold, but caffeine and alcohol are no-nos because they can dry you out.

Of course, if you get a raging withdrawal headache without your morning coffee, by all means, have a small cup of coffee or a little-caffeinated tea instead.