Health Living Well

Boost Your Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

It’s cold outside and that means one thing: Cold and flu season is among us!

If you’re looking to boost your immune system to try to prevent illness this year, try these tips:

Wash, Wash, Wash

The very best thing you can do to prevent catching and spreading disease is to be very on top of washing your hands. Often people are in a contagious stage of illness before they even feel any symptoms, so if you don’t think you’ve been around someone who is sick and it might be fine to skip washing your hands, you’re probably wrong. Most diseases can live outside of the body for a while and can spread from something as innocent as a piece of paper or door handle.

  • Don’t use your hands to open doors when possible: Use an arm, foot, or even a paper towel in your hand to turn a door handle
  • Sanitize door handles, pens, or other items commonly touched
  • Wash your hands after touching commonly used items like:
    • Door handles
    • Gas pump
    • Pens
    • Credit card machines
    • Vending machines
    • Your own cell phone

If you touch something that many other people touch and you’re not able to wash right away, just make sure you don’t touch your mouth, nose, eyes, or ears.

Boost the Vitamin C Intake

During the winter months we’re less likely to eat foods that are high in vitamin C. You may want to either take a supplement or try finding foods like:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Strawberry
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Orange
  • Tomato
  • Peppers
  • Mango
  • Grapefruit
  • Spinach
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi

Talk to Your Doctor

Particularly as you age, you increase your risk of getting preventable diseases like the flu and pneumonia. Talk to your doctor about preventative steps like immunizations to avoid life threatening illnesses. Additionally, he or she may recommend a dose of Zinc or other vitamins to help fortify your immune system.

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