Every year like clockwork, a new strain of the Influenza virus makes its rounds, leading many people to take precautions against illness. Some get the flu shot, while others rely on more natural preventative measures.
Whether you take either of these approaches, one thing everyone needs to pay attention to is good hygiene. Practicing good hygiene can have a significant impact on inhibiting the spread of illness.
Aside from the basic practices of hand washing and staying home when sick, don’t overlook these commonly ignored sources of contamination during flu season:
Germs at your fingertips!
Clean the knick-knacks. When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of little items we touch and use every day that don’t always get cleaned on a regular basis! Remote controls, car keys, your cell phone and electronics all harbor a lot of germs when they aren’t cleaned often.
Toys. Similarly, your kids’ toys should be cleaned on a regular basis or the germs will thrive. Involve your kids to teach them the importance of good hygiene.
School supplies. It’s well known among parents that illness spreads like wildfire in schools. During flu season, take extra care to avoid bringing home the bug on your kids’ school stuff. Clean out the backpack and wipe down books and supplies regularly.
Give the car a good clean. Vehicles are often neglected when it comes to cleaning, so take the opportunity to give it a thorough clean – there’s no better time than when an illness is going around.
Do not share utensils or drinking glasses. Eating in public places? Ask the waiter for a cup of boiling water and let the utensils soak for a minute or two and wipe down before using. Why risk the obvious. A little action and awareness can go along way in keeping the family healthy all winter long.
Autumn has its perks – changing leaves, apple-picking, and cozy sweaters. Unfortunately, the arrival of autumn also means that flu season is approaching. Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally boost your immune system and protect yourself from the flu, colds, and other illnesses.
Get Enough Sleep
Don’t skimp on sleep. Sleep is what your body needs to regenerate and recharge. Chronic lack of sleep ultimately leads to body burnout.
Stay hydrated. Fuel your cells and promote detoxification by drinking plenty of water each day.
Avoid processed foods. White sugar in particular is known to impact immune function. Instead, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible and ensure that you get plenty of protein.
Eat garlic and onions. These aromatic root vegetables are both high in antibacterial properties. Lime is also a natural antibacterial and helpful when added to salad or squeezed over cooked foods.
Restore proper pH in your body. Eating alkaline foods such as leafy greens, carrots, and lemon water.
Destress. Stress, if not dealt with, can really take its toll on your body’s ability to fight illness.
Limit caffeine. I’m not too crazy about this tip, myself, but the sad truth is that caffeine can have a negative impact on our immune systems.
Choose Herbal Tea
Supplement with immune-boosting herbs. Herbs like Echinacea and garlic can help prevent germs and viruses from making you ill. Drinking green tea can help, as well.
Wash your hands frequently. Lighten the load on your immune system and wash away germs often with warm, soapy water. Take special care to wash up often when you’re out in public and before eating.
Eat probiotics. Dr. Linda White for Mother Earth News explains, “Beneficial microorganisms colonize our intestinal, lower urinary and upper respiratory tracts. They outcompete bad ‘bugs’ and enhance immune function. You can consume such bacteria in the form of live-cultured products such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Probiotic supplements, available at natural food stores, may reduce the risk of antibiotic-induced diarrhea, viral diarrhea, vaginitis and respiratory infections.”
Take these steps to improve your health and have greater immune function this flu season.
May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Dr. Doormat, Inc.