In about a week, we will be officially entering the fall season when colds and flu commonly occur. Being the case, it also serves us best to start taking some precautions to keep ourselves and family as protected as possible from colds and flu. Therefore, here are cold prevention tips that can help better your chances of staying well this season.
Cold Prevention Starts With Keeping Body Resistance Strong
Make sure to stay on a healthy diet because proper nutrition is important to keep your body able to defend itself from invading germs. To reinforce your immunity, you should eat more fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peppers, green beans, carrots, kale, escarole, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, squash, apples, oranges, grapefruits, etc. for all their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as vitamin A and C for added protection.
You might want to start using more garlic and onions in your foods for additional cold prevention. Did you know that garlic and onions have components that can ward off bacteria and viruses? The most potent way to obtain its germ-fighting benefits is eating these in their raw form. In folklore, raw garlic has been a highly valued natural antibiotic. Another interesting thing is that you can’t develop a resistence to garlic unlike a traditional antibiotic if prescribed too often.
Besides strengthening your immunity with more antioxidants, protecting internally with natural foods acting as antibiotics, you also need to promote a healthy respiratory system with vitamin D rich foods to make up for days of less sunshine that normally contributed some vitamin D. A fit respiratory system is one that can keep you safer from upper chest infections. Therefore, do yourself a favor and eat more eggs, mushrooms, milk, etc. to get your share and benefit from this source of cold prevention.
Though you may be eating better nutrition, it also is important for cold prevention to keep your system clear and moving any bugs out. To make sure your gut is healthy and functioning as it should, adding more fiber-rich foods like oatmeal and whole grains can help. If you’re disgusted with plain, cooked oatmeal, I have some suggestions that give you a new opinion such as my chocolate-peanut oatmeal that tastes like a melted peanut butter cup or adding some applesauce, cinnamon and some raisins instead of milk for yet another delicious hot breakfast idea.
Those types of oatmeal and whole-grain foods still may not move you. Try a fiber drink like a fruity-tasting Metamucil to aid in the cause.
You can help your gut also by introducing it to more healthy bacteria. Eating more acidophilus foods like yogurt to fermented foods like sauerkraut can improve your odds of having a healthier digestive track.
Something else that may want to start is drinking more hot teas. The ones in particular are black and green teas because of their amazing ability to moisturize the back of the throat enough to flush out bacteria and viruses before becoming a bigger problem. For ultimate cold prevention, drink that tea with lemon and honey can help even more with moving and thinning trapped nasal mucous from lemon and dealing with trapped germs from antibacterial components found in honey.
Personal Habit Changes That Can Help Defend You From Colds
Gargling with antiseptic mouth washes is wonderful for killing germs and helping give us more pleasant breath. However, you may be surprised to hear that in one Japanese study, researchers found that gargling with plain water after each meal may be more effective to defend against colds than those mouth washes. The reason behind this theory is the water better moves any lingering germs in the throat compared to just concentrating on killing bacteria in the mouth.
Staying active has been shown to help the body itself from the internal response it triggers for cold prevention compared to being sedentary. Housework, shoveling to your usual preferred method of exercise can provide an additional form of protection.
How you wash your hands is another habit that you may want to change slightly. In order to kill the most germs, start washing and lathering up the hands and then between your fingers and under your nails before you stop. Once those hands are sufficiently soaped, you need to keep lathering for at least 18 seconds to kill the most germs. This sudsing the hands practice may take a few seconds longer than the normal way you washed your hands, but it is a more effective form of cold prevention.
Disinfect things you regularly touch, especially pens, cell phones, your desk, credit cards, your coffee mug at work, the handles of office microwave or refrigerator, etc. more often can serve as a further cold prevention aid.
With cold and flu season closing in, it is a good time to start thinking about reducing the number of cigarettes that you may smoke or giving smoking up completely, if possible. Smoking destroys those little hairs called the cilia that line the nose and lungs, serving as your body’s defense from incoming germs. The less cilia that you have, the more that you welcome in those nasty bugs.
Last but not least is time to think about getting your flu shot. Aim to get that flu shot before the end of October to best protect yourself because it takes two weeks to build up the immunities you need to keep well. Why risk developing the flu and complications when all you have to do is get that flu shot?
These cold prevention tips that I shared are just some ways that can help better protect you and your family from becoming ill. Stay safe and remember to practice them!