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How to Prevent Colds and Flu as the Seasons Change

This week, my children had their flu vaccine shots, thanks to their aunt who scheduled them at the health center where she is working. I hope that they won't get sick now that the cold season is coming.

Well, it's not really cold as what we used to enjoy in Saudi Arabia during the winter season. But the air has become slightly cold now especially at night and early dawn. With the cold season, medical experts say that the rhinovirus and coronavirus (the agents of common cold) tend to flourish because of the cool temperature. The same is true with the influenza virus. So, it's good to have that extra defense against these viruses.

Aside from the flu shot, there are a few other things that people can do to avoid catching colds and flu. Exposure to germs can't be avoided, so here are some really good tips to remember to prevent colds and flu:

Always wash your hands because, no matter how much you try to avoid it, you will come into contact with people and things that carry the cold or flu virus. When you go out, and you touch the elevators or door handles, you are coming into contact with dangerous germs. So, wash your hands over and over again. It sounds so simple but in fact, soap and water are the around-the-clock companions of doctors and nurses. Use hand sanitizers that are alcohol-based if you are not near any soap and water. The sanitizer can kill off the flu and cold germs.

Live a healthy lifestyle, as it is important to look after your health. That means getting enough rest and nutrition. Many think these are just old wives' tales, but it is really important to get good nutritious food into your system. Avoid smoke and try to keep allergies under control. If you don’t, your upper respiratory tract could become inflamed. This makes you more vulnerable to get a virus.

Repair your gut because your gut is the gateway to health and almost 80% of your immune system is situated in the gut. That means it needs to be in peak condition. Take a top quality probiotic like yogurt or Yakult to keep up good levels of bacteria to fight off infection.

Go slow on alcohol and sugar consumption because when you consume too much, you suppress the immune system, causing leaky gut. Just moderate alcohol consumption can suppress your central nervous system too which is part of your important immune system.

Avoid stress because stress suppresses the immune system. Consider things like massage, or yoga, or meditation to reduce stress.

Take antioxidant supplements like glutathione and turmeric because they are important for the right functioning of the immune function. Glutathione is the main antioxidant in the body and is responsible for enhancing the immune system as well as assisting the liver with detoxification. Turmeric improves cardiovascular function and joint health.

Optimize on Vitamin D, which is a powerful immune system booster as it fights off infections.  Pair your vitamin D supplement with vitamin K to ensure vitamin D is well absorbed.

Drink bone broth. Maybe you remember your mother or grandmother giving you chicken broth when you were sick and how it made you feel so much better. It’s not just folklore – bone broth does actually benefit your immune system. Studies show that when you eat chicken soup when you have a respiratory infection, you quell inflammation.

It’s so easy to make bone broth. Just boil turkey or chicken bones and vegetable pieces for around 8 hours. Add some collagen or gelatin to the bone broth to boost your immune system and support your gut against invasive pathogens.

If you are sick, it is better for you to stay at home and rest. Your job is to heal and not to pass on the germs to other people, particularly if you are really sick.

Keep up these tips and you will not only prevent flu and colds, but you will also keep your body in optimal health. Getting sick can stress out your immune system and could cause the flare-up of autoimmune conditions, chronic illnesses, and thyroid dysfunction.

So, say NO to colds and flu and YES to health!


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