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cold and flu prevention

Tis the season for Cold and Flu Prevention!

 

Yes, It is the time of year when it seems like you and everyone you know gets sick. But fortunately, you do not need a Christmas miracle to avoid catching the cold that is going around the office. Take note of good habits and immune boosting foods will help you through the cold and flu season.

Lack of sleep: missing out on the sleep your body needs has a significant impact on your immune system’s responses [1]. Make sure you get the sleep you need to keep your immune system in fighting shape. Also, resting when you first come down with a cold or flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle.

Lack of exercise: regular, moderate exercise (think 30 minute walk) everyday can help you fight off infection. People who do not exercise regularly are more likely to get colds [2].

Stress: Stress hormones suppress the immune system [2]. Try meditation, a MOXIE Restore class, exercise, or spending time with friends to help manage your stress levels.

Poor hygiene: Wash your hands and make sure you sneeze/cough into a tissue or your arm. Simply breathing in aerosolized saliva from a sneeze can contract the flu; so be considerate of other’s health. Wash your hands after sneezing or blowing your nose.

Yogurt with live, active cultures: Probiotics can help strengthen your immune system by maintaining healthy flora in your body. A study actually showed that probiotics help reduce the number of sick days you take in a year [3].

Gargle with apple cider vinegar and honey: Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a gargle made with honey or a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

Garlic: contains allicin that fights infections and bacteria [4]. Use garlic to flavor soups, breads and vegetables to reduce your chances of catching a cold.

Drink warm liquids like Black or Green Tea: These teas contain L-theanine that boosts production of virus‐fighting interferon in the body. If your drink them hot, they relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration and soothe the throat.

Mushrooms: Especially shiitake, maitake, and reishi. They increase production and activity of white blood cells [4]. They’re also easy to add to your diet. Cook them into eggs, chicken noodle soup, or toss them on a frozen pizza before it goes in the oven.

 

 

SOURCES:

1. Wilder-Smith, A. A., Mustafa, F. B., Earnest, A. A., Gen, L. L., & MacAry, P. A. (2013).

Impact of partial sleep deprivation on immune markers. Sleep Medicine, 14(10),

1031-034. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.001

2. “Immune System Boosters and Busters.” WebMD. Ed. Michael W. Smith, MD.

WebMD, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <http://www.webmd.com/cold-

and‐flu/10-immune-­system-busters-boosters>.

3. Probiotic use leads to fewer sick days: study.(Brief Article). (2005). Nutraceuticals

International,

4. MacMillan, Amanda, and Tamara Schryver. “9 Power Foods That Boost

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