As we head into flu season there are many things we can do to “flu proof” ourselves. Regardless of whether you choose to get a flu vaccine or not, there are things we can do to heighten our chances of not getting sick this winter. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a New York based Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine provided us with a comprehensive list of 15 to do’s to fight the flu.
- Keep your surroundings clean, wipe surfaces at work, keep your cell phone clean. According to the CDC viruses can survive on a surface for up to 8 hours
- Wash your hands. Remember the workplace and public spaces are a hotbed for germs. This is where the hand washing comes into play.
- Increase intake of vitamin D, C, E and A. Get some sunlight exposure for vitamin D and include foods such as red bell peppers (add to salads), sweet potatoes, greens and garlic. Research shows that keeping vitamin D levels at 80 ng/ml or so decreases the risk of catching the flu and swine flu.
- Bring your own lunch to work where you can control food prep and ensure surfaces are clean.
- Get a full night’s sleep.When you feel run down you’re more susceptible to illness.
- Work from home when feeling sick. These days it’s easier for people to work from home at the slightest signs of cold or flu.
- Eat kimchi! It’s delicious and a great probiotic which boost immunity.
- Add mushrooms to your meal. Packed with selenium they’re an immunity booster.
- Sip green tea rich in polyphenols and flavonoids which ward off illness as well as L-theanine,
an immunity boosting amino acid. Green and black tea are also packed with polyphenols and flavonoids.
- Munch on sweet potato baked fries which are high in vitamins helping us to fight off bacteria and viruses.
- Don’t touch your face especially the eyes. The average person touches their face around 15 times
per hour! It’s something we do unconsciously so if we can be more aware of face touching the more we can stop.
- Soup it up! Veggie or ginger garlic soup fights flu and sinus infection.
- Exercise regularly! Doing 30 minutes of moderate cardio per day is optimal to enhance the performance of infection fighting white blood cells.
- Go hands free on the smartphone.When we put our phones down and then pick them up or touch them this is where viruses can spread. Using earbuds and cleaning the phone with a devise friendly cleaner will help.
- Lose the booze.You really want to cut back on alcohol consumption during flu season. It dehydrates us and lowers our immunity so our ability to fight off virus is impaired.