10 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy During the Cold & Flu Season
1. Eat a Balanced Diet.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals, “phyto-” meaning plant, which are essentially supercharged immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Your body will be stronger, healthier and less susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Having trouble getting enough servings of fruits and veggies each day? Try juicing. This is an easy and tasty way to get your necessary vitamins from plants with the added bonus of getting a serving of water as well.
2. Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Sweets.
When alcohol, starchy carbohydrates, and sweets make their way through the digestive tract, they produce acid in the body throwing off the pH balance. An overly acidic body can result in a suppressed immune system. This can break down your body’s resistance to the cold and flu virus.
3. Wash your Hands Often.
Germs can last for hours on surfaces that have come in contact with someone who is sick. Items that you touch every day such as, keyboards, shopping carts, elevator buttons, gym equipment, gas pumps, writing utensils, restaurant condiments, eating utensils and more can harbor bacteria long after a sick person has used them. Every sneeze or cough releases small droplets of bacteria-filled fluid that can land on these commonly-used surfaces. Wash your hands often, especially before cooking, eating, or touching your face. If you are not near a sink, make sure to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. It is also important to clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces at home, work or school.
4. Drink Plenty of Water Each Day.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. Keep it replenished; your body is approximately 65% water. Water is necessary for your body to function properly, stay hydrated and flush out toxins. It is recommended that the average person consume 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
5. Get Plenty of Rest and Avoid Stress and Anger.
Studies indicate that avoiding stress and anger helps you to avoid getting run down. This in turn can protect you from catching a cold or the flu. Try taking the time to meditate or practice your breathing exercises.
6. Get a Massage.
A massage can help improve the lymphatic circulation in the body and reduce stress. Your lymphatic system is a vital part of your immune system. Your lymph nodes contain white blood cells which aid in trapping, attacking and destroying bacteria and other microbes which are picked up by the lymphatic fluid. Massages not only help boost the immune system, they also promote a general sense of well-being.
7. Exercise Regularly.
Physical exercise helps fuel the body and enhance immune function. If you are already feeling sick and want to exercise, the rule is that if the sickness is above the neck (i.e. stuffy nose, congestion, etc), light exercise is okay. If you have a fever and body aches, take the day off and rest.
8. Supplement with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps protect the body’s cells from damage by free radicals. Many plants and animals do not need to consume foods high in ascorbic acid to meet their need for Vitamin C because they are genetically programmed to produce enzymes that convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately humans have only 3 of the 4 enzymes necessary for internal production of ascorbic acid, therefore we must satisfy our physical needs for this important vitamin through our intake of foods rich in Vitamin C and/or take a good supplement.
9. Supplement with Vitamin D3.
It is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because it is produced by the body during exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVB). As the weather gets colder, sun exposure becomes limited. Vitamin D3 helps boost the immune system and is vital for overall health. This vitamin is essential for the body to function properly.
10. Carry a Cold Coin in your Pocket.
The Cold Coin, carried in the front pocket, is essential for reinforcing the body during cold and allergy season. The front pocket is right by the groin, which is a major lymphatic area. Made of a specialized carbon steel, the Cold Coin works by ionizing the body, making it more resistant to colds and congestion.
Bruce Baar, MS, ND | © Baar Products, Inc., 2015