Six Ways to Avoid Getting Sick
Just because it’s flu season doesn’t mean you and your family have to get sick!
A stuffy nose, sinus pressure, chills and sweats, aches and pains … nobody likes getting sick, and colds, flu and other nasty viruses going around.
Is there anything you can do to help stave off germs and stay healthy?
Fortunately, yes. The tips that follow will help you to avoid getting sick.
1. Drink Plenty of Fresh, Pure Water
Water is crucial for survival — it’s the base of all your body fluids, like blood and digestive juices, it helps nutrients from your food get absorbed and be transported, and it helps eliminate waste. Even becoming midly dehydrated (when you lose as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of your body weight) can seriously impact your body’s ability to function.
If you’re thirsty now, you’re already mildly dehydrated. That’s because, contrary to popular belief, thirst is not a reliable indicator of proper hydration. Ideally, you should drink enough water so that you don’t become thirsty, not wait until you’re feeling parched and then drink enough water to quench your thirst.
A word of caution: not all water is good for you. Tap water can be potentially contaminated with chemicals, pesticides or even pharmaceutical drugs. And bottled water, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has weaker regulations than the Environmental Protection Agency requires for tap water.
Plus, bottles themselves contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the female hormone estrogen, impacting fertility, reproductive health and potentially promoting cancer, heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.
To put your mind at ease and get safe, superior quality water that will promote your health rather than harm it, consider buying a water filter that reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides.
2. Eat Healthy, Fresh Foods
A healthy diet can play a role in your immune system’s ability to fight of illness.
“Nutrition plays an important part in maintaining immune function,” explains George L. Blackburn, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, on CNN.com. “Insufficiency in one or more essential nutrients may prevent the immune system from functioning at its peak.”
A balanced diet is key, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources like lean meat, seafood, eggs and beans, and good fats, including omega-3 and monounsaturated like olive oil.
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that’s especially concentrated in fruits and vegetables, may also boost your immune system, so be sure you’re eating plenty of these.
Want to boost the flavonoids in your diet? Eat more raw food.
3. Maximize Your Nutrient Absorption and Immune System Health With a Digestive Enzyme
Digestive enzymes are what allow your food to be broken down, and the nutrients absorbed by your bloodstream, however if you eat a mostly processed, cooked food diet you may be lacking in these crucial catalysts to nutrient absorption.
So if your diet consists primarily of cooked foods it’s important to take an enzyme supplement. There are numerous enzyme supplements available on the market to help increase your levels.
Remember that your digestive enzyme production drops with age; it also declines greatly during times of stress such as when you are too cold, too warm, too tired, ill, recovering from injuries, or suffering from life’s pressures physically, mentally or emotionally, making a high-quality digestive enzyme important for nearly everyone!
4. Optimize Your Levels of Good Bacteria With Probiotics
Research published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that probiotics may be useful for preventing cold and flu viruses.
Your key defense against viruses like colds and flu is your immune system — and 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system. This means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best.
“Introducing friendly bacteria into the digestive system improves how we absorb vitamins, nutrients and co-factors, so overall, immunity is boosted,” Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, medical director of the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine, told ABC News.
In choosing a probiotic supplement for yourself, a superlative probiotic supplement provides clinical activities supporting systemic health and wellness through immune-system protection, allergy reduction and effective and enhanced nutrient absorption.
5. Cleanse Your Nasal Passages with Nasal Irrigation
Nasal cleansing, also known as nasal irrigation, involves using a neti pot to pour a lukewarm saline solution (pure water mixed with natural salt) inside one side of your nostril while tilting your head sideways so the water runs out of your other nostril.
It’s quick, easy and soothing (not painful in any way) as it opens up your sinuses as it softly flushes out much of any sinus congestion.
Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends regular use of a neti pot to flush your sinuses. He says:
“Regular use of a Neti pot can keep sinuses and passages clear.”
And according to Susan Smith Jones, PhD, in her article “The Healing Poser of Neti — Nasal Cleansing”:
“Dr. Andrew Weil, among others, is a strong proponent of nasal cleansing on a regular basis. Research and articles have appeared in a number of professional journals such as the Academy of Otolaryngology. Also, research conducted at the Harvard Medical School shows that nasal cleansing can aid in various chronic and acute conditions, including allergic rhinitis and acute sinusitis.
Doctors and alternative health practitioners around the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and well being.”
Nasal cleansing using a well-designed Neti pot can help you:
- Clear your nasal passages
- Remove excess mucus
- Reduce dust and pollen by cleansing nasal passages
- Relieve nasal dryness
There are many Neti pots on the market.
6. Use Antimicrobial Hand Wipes to Keep Your Hands Germ-Free
Considering that Americans touch about 300 different surfaces every 30 minutes, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid all germs. However, there are ways to dramatically reduce your risk of spreading, and getting sick from, these pesky invaders.
The best continuous alternative to soap and water (before and after you wash your hands) — ideal for use when you can’t get to a sink or have been washing your hands to the point they are getting dry and cracked — are terry cloth microfibers made to meet the rigorous standards of the commercial health care market in support of infection control programs that are required in ultra-clean environments that capable of “trapping and removing” 99.99% of bacteria from hard surfaces throughout your home, workplace and those surfaces you have to touch in daily life (doors and door knobs, grocery carts, countertops, etc.).
In fact, carrying wipers in your pocket and wiping your hand discreetly any time you shake hands or touch a public surface (especially door knobs, shopping cart handles, light switches and other heavily contaminated but rarely cleaned surfaces). You can also use them to wipe done public surfaces, such as shopping cart handles or hotel room remote controls. Because germs are also easily spread around schools, we recommend you tuck one in your child’s backpack and teach him or her to wipe his hands regularly throughout the day.
- Place in your pocket or purse. Wipe and rub your hands and fingers thoroughly after you come into contact with people through handshakes or when you touch surfaces that others have touched.
- Clean surfaces using antimicrobial hand wipes: from your car steering wheel and doorknobs, to all the various surfaces throughout your home and office.
- Use these wipes to clean anywhere others touch: on your desktop, telephone, keyboard, door knobs & door frames, chair-arms/back, mirror surfaces, file cabinets, other office furniture and other large surfaces. Can be used dry or lightly dampened.
- Wipe frequently touched areas once per day, as we do more frequently during flu season or anytime others visit your office and/or use your office equipment.
A simple way to remove germs from your hands and other objects you and your family are likely to touch, and will go a long way toward keeping you well all winter long!