Today my friends I would like to discuss some ways that we can help prevent the common cold and the flu naturally. One billion colds and flu plague us in America and the season usually ranges from October through March. Let’s face it when you feel down right lousy you can’t get anything done, but life doesn’t stop just because we are under the weather. You miss work and home chores pile up, but there are some common daily routines and tips that can help warn off these illnesses. So set back and relax while I teach you some useful information. I hope that wasn’t a sneeze I heard -if it was you–then you really need to listen very closely to some of my advice!
1. Wash Your Hands Often: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) washing your hands is the single most important prevention for reducing disease transmission. Be aware of where what you have touched with your hands.
Wash your hands regularly and don’t touch your own mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) after handling people or object. The bathroom is a very common place to pick up nasty germs so every time you go to the bathroom you should wash your hands for 15 seconds with warm soapy water and turn the faucet off with your for forearm or elbow and to dispense paper towels. Another good idea is to use that same paper towel to open the door before you throw it in the trash. In a public bathroom or even at your job there is hundreds of people touching the faucet and door knobs. Just imagine how many germs are spread that way!
2. Don’t Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands: Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
3. Avoid direct contact with a sick person: Avoid touching or kissing, this is the #1 way germs are transmitted. Eighty percent of colds are spread by direct contact.
4. Avoid Stress as much as Possible: We all know that stress affects our entire body physically and mentally. Stress causes cortisol levels to elevate which in turn weakens the immune system and lets our body open for attack by germs and viruses. The holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas themselves cause a great deal of stress for most of us. So try to find ways to balance the stress such as writing down your feelings, exercising (which releases endorphins and other brain chemicals into the body that naturally help your immune system), get a relaxing massage, try some yoga, and even go out a have some fun with your friends. Laughter is a great antidote for stress.
5. Drink plenty of water and fluid: You should have at least 8 glasses of water (8oz each) every day, but during the flu season it is even more important. Fruit juices can be helpful as long as they are organic fruit juice without all the sugar, artificial preservatives, and dyes added in. Peppermint tea is one of the better teas (other teas can be helpful too) for soothing the throat in cold weather and can help clear congestion and open you airways, which helps you breathe. Water is very useful because it is used by every cell in the body and helps to flush out toxins.
6. Get plenty of Sleep: Sleep is vital to having a healthy immune system and to helping reducing stress that helps you warn off the cold and flu. To help get the proper amount of sleep which according to the experts is 8 hours, try to have a regular routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time, avoid caffeinated drinks or spicy foods or any unhealthy snack food near bedtime, avoid being on computer or watching TV a hour or so before bed, and keep the temperature in your bedroom at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of your living quarters.
7. Eat Healthy: Making healthy choices in what you eat can make a big difference. You need the proper nutrients to have a healthy immune system. Stay away from sugary, fatty, high-calorie, and fried foods. What you eat is what you are and what you eat can decide if you will get sick.
Eating fish that is high in Omega-3, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits that are high in Vitamin C, leafy green vegetables, and lean protein. Eat plenty of phytochemicals plants-that are natural chemicals in plants that give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost such as dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
Yogurt has shown in some studies, that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.
Other good choices are garlic and onions that not only adds flavor to your food but it but also fights a great number of bacteria and viruses which helps in preventing and fighting the common cold.
8. Antioxidants & Vitamins & Minerals: Some of the best antioxidants that can help you stay healthy are Vitamin A, E, and C–Zinc!
- Vitamin A–is a disease-fighting antioxidant and immune-system booster. It helps prevent and fight infections by regulating the immune system that makes white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 4,000 IU daily for women and 5,000 IU daily for men. Preformed Vitamin A is found in animal foods such as eggs, whole milk, liver, and breakfast foods that have been fortified with vitamin A. Provitamin A carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are abundant in dark-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, leafy greens, cantaloupe, broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, and peas.
- Vitamin C — Studies have shown that vitamin C helps shorten the duration and intensity of colds, as well as help fight respiratory infections because your immune depends on it for proper functioning.The RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg a day for both men and women. Many experts believe that taking up to 200 mg a day is most beneficial. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, dark greens, kiwi, red peppers, and strawberries.
- Vitamin E –– Vitamin E promotes the production of B-cells that produce antibodies and destroy harmful bacteria. The RDA for women is 8 mg or 12 IU per day, and 10mg or 15 IU daily for men. Higher doses, in the 400-800 IU per day range, are used for full antioxidant effects. Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E may enhance its antioxidant power.
- Minerals: One of the most important and popular minerals in beating the cold and flu season is zinc because it empowers the immune system to wipe out infections and can help shorten a cold’s duration by destroying the virus that is at the back of the throat. The RDA for zinc is 12 mg for women and 15 mg for men. Protein-rich foods are high in zinc. These includes red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals. Almonds are also a terrific vegetarian source of zinc; just four ounces can supply half the RDA for women.
I trust this information has been helpful and you will be able to use some of these ideas and stay healthy this winter. Remember eat healthy and eat organic as much as possible. Supplements can be helpful! Make some of these tips your regular habits to keep you and your family healthy and stronger.
Quote of the Day: Success is a journey not a destination! – Ben Sweetland