It’s official. It’s cold out. You know what that means….flu season is coming. (Note: read that in a GOT “Winter is coming” voice.)
Stock up on your Emergen-C. Drink your hot teas. Wash your hands. Don’t touch strangers. Follow these 5 doctor-recommended tips on how to avoid the flu.
Food is the best medicine!
Food can be an amazing preventative medicine when it comes to the flu. Veggies, especially leafy greens, broccoli, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes, are all great options to help you avoid getting sick. It’s important to also get your antioxidants in, so fresh berries will keep your immune system very happy! Your cell membranes need good quality oils, like olive and coconut oil, to stay healthy during the season as well. Sugary or processed foods suppresses your immune system, so try to avoid them in the winter. (Doing this will also help avoid what I like to call “hibernation hips”…)
…Vitamins and herbs are second best.
It’s so important to get your vites and herbs in to help your body fight the flu! Important vitamins to make sure you’re getting are Vitamin D3 and Zinc. Emergen-C is a great product to use daily to make sure you’re keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. Additionally, what a lot of people don’t know is that your gut plays a HUGE role in your immune system. I’m sure I will extensively get into this in another post, but the bacteria in your GI system are major, major players in your body’s health. This is why probiotics are also really essential to keep your gut full of good, protective bacteria. My favorite herbs to help prevent the flu and boost your immune system are elderberry syrup, ginger, and garlic. These are all great to use when cooking or making homemade salad dressings in the winter!
Hug it out.
You better know not to shake hands with sick people. If not, DON’T SHAKE HANDS WITH SICK PEOPLE, SILLY!!! (And, always couch or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Don’t be gross.) Washing hands frequently and efficiently is definitely the number one way to prevent gettign sick — it could not possibly be more essential. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that a zillion times though. What you probably didn’t know is that giving a hug instead of a handshake has been shown to prevent the spread of the flu! My boyfriend got a terrible flu last year and was shocked I didn’t catch it taking care of him. What he didn’t realize was that despite hugging him or checking his forehead temperature, I never touched his hands. I stayed totally healthy!
Catch some zzz’s.
Every system in your body works together. Your immune system is just one piece of a very complex puzzle. Therefore, if there is a system not functioning at its best, it will bring down the others (like if your immune system sucks, you’ll get sick, making your respiratory sytem suck). This is why it’s important to keep your nervous system healthly, too! People really neglect their mental health, and it’s so easy to keep ti healthy. It is essential to get the optimum 7-8 hours of sleep per night during flu season. Finding a good technique to relieve stress can also help keep you healthy. Taking up yoga for the winter months or taking a few minutes to meditate before bed are both great options.
When your body is dehydrated, your cells’ mucous membranes are dehydrated. They get irritated and are more susceptible to inflammation, which really sucks for those little guys. These membranes have a very important job: they are essentially the doors/windows into your cells. Anything that comes in or goes out must go through them. So, if they are dehydrated and not functioning at their best, they might let an infection just walk right on in. Drinking lots of water and herbal teas will keep them tight and locked (unless the good stuff wants in!).
Do you guys have any great flu season tips?! Home remedies? I’d love to hear your comments!