This is a very busy time of the year and the last thing you need is to be knocked down by the flu or a cold. It always seems that as we get busy and stretched thin – we end up getting sick. It feels like the flu or cold comes out of nowhere.
One day you’re feeling fine and the next day you can barely lift your head. Well, this is the year that things are going to be different. With a few changes to your daily routine, we’ve got our fingers crossed that you can keep the flu and cold away.
The Flu Shot
The flu shot is not without controversy. We all know someone who got the flu shot and then came down with a terrible flu. However, this anecdotal evidence is not a reason to not get the flu shot. There are no guarantees the flu shot will stop you from getting the flu, but it can help. It is very important that children, seniors, and anyone dealing with chronic health issues get the flu shot. To learn more about the flu shot, we urge you to visit the Centers for Disease Control website. It may also be helpful to read this article from the Harvard Medical School, which dispels some of the common myths about the flu shot.
Boost Your Immunity Naturally
A strong immune system is your best defense against flus and colds. Think of your immune system as your first-line-of-defense against invading cold and flu viruses and bacteria. A natural supplement such as AHCC is proven to keep your immune system working at its best, allowing you to ward off illness. AHCC is formulated using a natural mushroom compound that supports and strengthens both your innate and adaptive immune systems.
Along with AHCC, you can benefit from additional supplement such as zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C. When cooking, try adding in natural spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon – these spices serve double-duty with an immune system boost and a flavor boost.
Move Your Body
When you’re stressed and overly busy, your body slowly but surely gets drained – lowering your immune system defenses. By adding in some exercise such as walking, light yoga, or swimming, you’re stimulating your circulation which helps strengthen your immune system. Exercise also gives you a chance to alleviate stress and find some time for yourself. You may want to listen to podcasts or your favorite music to give yourself a real chance to escape from your day-to-day.
Study after study reinforces that smoking is not good for us. In fact, smoking has dangerous health impacts and contributes to numerous diseases and health problems. Smoking dries out the small hairs in your nose and lungs which act as a defense against bacteria and viruses. All it takes is one cigarette to wipe out the effectiveness of these hairs (cilia) for 30 to 40 minutes.
Wash Your Hands
It sounds obvious, but so many people neglect to wash their hands. Germs are spread most easily through hand contact. Someone coughs, covers their mouth with their hand, and then places that hand on doorknob – the next person comes along and puts their hand on the doorknob – picking up the cold or flu germs that were left behind.
Wash your hands as often as you can. Now we don’t want you going overboard and then drying out your skin – but think about your hands and the cleanliness of others. Some people, such as athletes and those with chronic illness typically avoid shaking hands with people – taking an extra measure to limit the risk of hand-to-hand germ exposure.
Eat the Rainbow
While planning your Thanksgiving and holiday menus, think of adding in extra vegetables and fruits. Consider making the typical side dishes the star of your meals – there are some fantastic recipes out there that could help bring healthful immune-boosting vegetables and fruits front and center (next to the turkey of course). Think of adding color to your meals – bright red tomatoes, orange sweet potatoes, brilliant green broccoli, shiny red, green, yellow, and orange peppers, and crunchy orange carrots.
There are no guaranteed ways to prevent catching a cold or flu. You could follow all of these suggestions and still get sick. However, we want you to remember that your health is in your hands – take responsibility for your health and do what you can to stay healthy and strong.
Small steps can have big impacts during flu and cold season. Remember that flu and cold season lasts from October through to May. Yes, this is a long time – all the more the reason to do what you can to keep your immune system strong.
Do you have some tried and true tips for preventing the flu? Perhaps you have a homemade tea or drink that you have at the first signs of a cold or flu. Or you have a favorite recipe that has won over even the most anti-vegetable people in your family. Visit the AHCC Facebook page and tell us how you stay strong and healthy through-out the flu season!