Flu season is well underway, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arizona is one of 42 states experiencing high influenza-like illness (ILI). They are reporting that ILI activity is likely to remain elevated for several more weeks. Wondering how to avoid the flu to remain healthy? Continue reading for five natural flu prevention tips.
Stop the Spread: Taking preventative measures, such as frequently and thoroughly washing your hands with natural soap and water (lather up and rub your hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing); avoiding contact with sick people; and staying home from work when you are sick can stop the spread of germs. If you feel symptoms, but are unsure whether it’s the cold or flu, the CDC has released this infographic.
Manage Your Stress: During stressful moments, levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol rise in our bodies, which can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Stress is a normal part of life. However, long, drawn-out periods of stress can weaken your immune system. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to practice deep breathing. Inhale while expanding your belly, pause, and then exhale slowly to a count of five; repeat for a few minutes. Daily aerobic activity can also help you manage stress.
Drink More Water: Your body is composed of approximately 60% water. Water helps transport nutrients, eliminate wastes, and regulate body temperature. It is vital to ensuring a healthy immune system. It can also help control calorie intake; thirst (by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated) can cause you to feel hungry when you’re not. The rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in water; plain or infused.
Get Enough ZZZ’s: Sleep plays an important role in both your physical and mental health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the number of hours you need depends on several variables, such as your age group and current health. New recommendations suggest adults get between seven and nine hours sleep per night to wake up rested and recharged.
Eat a Nutritious Diet: Following a nutritiously balanced diet boosts immune system function; helps with weight management; increases energy levels; strengths endurance; and more. Good nutrition stems from a diet that includes a balance of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Make sure you’re eating a high amount of fruits and green leafy vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, each day.
Supplement with Vitamin C: Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in most vegetables and fruits. Its powerful antioxidant properties support a healthy immune system. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for men is 90/mg per day, and for women, it’s 75/mg per day. You should consume vitamin C daily, not just at the start of flu symptoms, to truly benefit from it.