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Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting Sick This Cold & Flu Season
December 5, 2015

It happens around the same time every year and it’s hard to avoid catching that cold or flu bug. That’s why they call it the cold and flu season. But to avoid catching that walking, talking, hacking illness follow some of these tricks and you may just make it through the holiday’s scot free.  These stay well techniques won’t make you immune to getting sick but they can keep your immune system strong enough to stop an attack from happening.











Load up on Vitamins

A healthy immune system is what keeps bacteria and viruses from invading your body and getting you sick. To keep your immune system strong you need the essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D helps the body to fight off colds, but because of winter weather our vitamin D levels usually run low. To supplement for the lack of sunshine, take 10000 IU of vitamin D3 a week and you can cut your risk of an upper respiratory infection in halt.

Even though zinc is a micronutrient it is still essential for a healthy immune system. It plays an important role in preventing the cold virus from multiplying. That’s why zinc lozenges with at least 75mg of zinc can help to reduce the effects of a cold by 40%. Make sure to keep foods with zinc in your diet throughout the year to avoid catching a cold. And if you do feel something coming on suck on a zinc lozenge with in the first 24 hours to reduce the chance of actually getting sick.

Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) like the kind we naturally have in our stomachs can significantly reduce the likelihood of catching a cold. Probiotics communicate with the immune cells throughout the body to fight off bacteria and viruses.  Greek yogurt contains a specific strain of probiotic which if eaten daily can greatly reduce the risk of catching a cold.



Go Herbal

Once your immune system is strong, keep it that way by adding some extra herbal help. Rosemary is an antiviral that contains carnosic acid. This compound inhibits viruses from replicating, which interferes with the virus’s ability to infect the host. Add rosemary to chicken or fish to get its antiviral benefits.

Use eucalyptus to help ease that dry cough. Eucalyptus contains cineole a compound that reduces inflammation, allowing the bronchi in your lungs to expand, to breathe easier.

Drink Something Hot

Drinking something hot, piping hot (165 F) can give you rapid improvement in not just your cold and flu symptoms but all over your body. Green tea is the best option because it contains catechins called EGCG. This catechin damage virus particles and stops them from entering the body. And here’s the kicker, by adding honey to your tea, you can reduce the bacteria count in the body. Honey is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory so it will inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria and viruses in the body. Don’t like green tea? Try ginger instead. Ginger inhibits the replication and attachment process of viruses. Drink ginger tea or grate some fresh ginger into your next meal.

Work Out

Exercise is an essential tool to keep the body healthy, but what most people don’t realize is that moderate exercise can actually reduce your risk of getting sick. Working out turns on the body’s natural immune response. And if you are already sick, make sure not to skip your workout. Exercise stimulates the production of epinephrine which constricts the blood vessels and relieves nasal discomfort.

Have you ever wanted to try yoga? Well now is the time because it also helps to boost the immune system response. The combination of relaxation and physical activity increases the production of antimicrobial peptides in ones saliva to shield you from invading viruses.

Sleep

To keep your immune system responding at a healthy level you need to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. People who get less than six hours of sleep were four times as likely to catch a cold. And people who get less than four hours of sleep a night showed an altered immune system response and increased inflammation.

Wash Your Hand

Everyone should know this, but who can actually say that they do it effectively and efficiently enough every time. It takes scrubbing your hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds to actually rub a virus off the skin. And make sure you thoroughly dry them since it’s easier to spread germs with wet hands.