Top Five Strategies to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
|By Dr. Matthew Marturano, ND on Friday, November 16, 2012|
|Don't go through this winter without these great products. Keep them stocked to be ready for when a cold or the flu hits.||
Anyone who spent last cold and flu season battling a number of unpleasant symptoms is probably dreading the coming winter season. Fortunately, there are ways to establish stronger immunity this time around so the body is fully prepared to win the battle against the common cold and flu.
Here are my five best tips to get the body ready to fight off infection during cold and flu season:
1. Start taking the right supplements.
To prepare the immune system for battle, make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals in the diet, and supplements are a great way to make up for any deficiencies. Vitamin D3 is increasingly talked about in the medical field in recent years as an important vitamin for preventing a number of illnesses, including the common cold and flu. Vitamin C has long been known to speed up recovery if cold and flu symptoms are experienced. Zinc also works as an effective preventative against the cold or flu virus.
2. Exercise to strengthen immune system function.
Exercise offers many health benefits that assist in strengthening the body’s immune response. For instance, researchers have found exercise increases white blood cell production, which helps the immune system fight off infections. Exercise is also great for removing toxins from the body, another benefit that will reduce the risk of contracting a cold or the flu.
3. Practice proper sanitation to avoid exposure to germs.
The primary reason the cold and flu viruses are commonly spread during the winter season is because we spend the majority of this time indoors in closed environments. For example, anyone who works in an office should be sure to wash their hands before eating and be cautious about touching their nose or mouth while working. Also, wash hands before going home from work to avoid spreading germs to family members. Increased sanitation during the winter months can go a long way in warding off cold and flu viruses.
4. Eat an antiviral diet.
A healthy diet is essential for boosting the body’s immune response. Processed foods -- white bread, white sugar, soda, fast food, etc. -- tax the body and can decrease the function of the immune system. On the other hand, whole, unprocessed foods tend to be rich in micronutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, all of which are excellent immune boosters. Make the majority of the daily diet fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds for the best results.
5. Reduce stress for a healthier immune system.
Ongoing stress can cause the immune system to weaken, which will leave the body open to cold and flu viruses, in addition to other health problems such as fatigue, premature aging and cardiovascular disorders. Stress can increase free radicals and cause oxidative damage. To improve immunity during cold and flu season, use a variety of tools to decrease stress in daily life. Stress-reduction techniques may include a new, nutrient-dense diet, physical activity such as walking or yoga, positive social support, restful sleep, positive thinking, meditation, listening to your favorite music or anything else that works for creating a feeling of calm and relaxation.
Try out these tips to prepare for cold and flu season. These annoying viruses certainly aren’t going anywhere but avoiding them is possible.
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