If you haven’t heard, the cold and flu season is upon us. In our office, people are coming in coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, and bundled up in sweatshirts. This week alone, two of my patients were sick for the second time! Here are some tips to help you avoid germs this fall.
1) Eat healthy – dairy and sugar thickens mucus so it’s best to avoid it when you’re feeling down. Opt for foods such as leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, onions, and garlic. Really limit alcohol, eat breakfast, and stay hydrated.
2) Take vitamins – consider boosting your vitamin C, zinc, and B-complex supplements. These can help improve your immune system and support your stress hormones.
3) Rinse out your nose – after spending all day around people spreading their germs, rinse your nose out with a nasal wash or neti pot. This pulls out all the bacteria, pollen, germs, mold spores and more as it washes through your sinuses.
4) Get enough sleep – this improves your immune system and leaves you feeling revitalized. If you routinely get less than seven (yes, I wrote seven) hours of sleep then you are doing your entire body a disservice. You need those hours to rest and repair. Skipping out on sleep overtime leaves you run down and depleted.
5) Stay home if you’re sick – how many times has someone around you been on the brink of illness and spread those germs all over your space? Don’t be that person. Take a day off, try to leave early or go in late so you can sleep in and rest. The more you force it, the longer it will take you to recover.
Lastly, wash your hands often! Wipe down your iPod, iPod touch, cellphone, and computer. I am choosing to leave this out of my top five because everyone should know this already.