You know those coworkers, family members or friends… the one’s that never get sick? It’s pretty brutal to see everyone around you so healthy, while you are catching sick with all of the above. Good news—even if your immune system is naturally low, or you are just prone to getting sick, there are plenty of ways to battle seasonal illnesses.
This year is your chance to officially combat those seasonal colds by taking some precautionary measures before the season even begins. We finally recognize the truth behind those pesky reminders our parents gave us when we were younger. These steps can help reduce your risk of getting sick. Prepare early!
Eat clean, healthy foods—especially apples.
Red apples (and broccoli and green tea) contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which can provide an immunity boost to individuals under stress. And let’s be serious, when the season changes, we all seem to be under some type of stress. A study conducted by David Niemen, PhD, a professor at Appalachian State University, gave quercetin to athletes who reported better mental alertness and reaction time over the placebo group. Apples aren’t the only healthy food you can eat to combat illness; Eating your vegetables, and foods packed with nature-found nutrients will help boost your immune system and provide you with the nutrients you need as the weather changes.
Increase your vitamin intake.
Whether it’s a multivitamin, or citrus fruits, getting your essential vitamins are beneficial to warding off various illnesses, like the flu or common cold. Though little research has been conducted to prove that vitamin C beats the common cold, it does boost overall immunity. The more vitamin C you pack your body with before fall begins, the less likely you may be to get sick. Eating foods high in vitamin D can also boost immunity. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, eggs, and milk. Getting outside in the sun while you can also helps increase vitamin D.
Oral hygiene upkeep.
Brushing our teeth has been part of (hopefully!) everyone’s natural routine since they were young. But using antiseptic mouthwash? Hold up. Chicago public relations consultant, Joanna Broussard, was given advice by her dental hygienist to gargle daily with antiseptic mouthwash, and twelve years later, has never had another cold. Becoming a stickler about brushing, flossing, and gargling with mouthwash can help ward off plenty of oral diseases, such as gum disease.
Don’t worry, be happy.
According to Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, “The immune system plummets when cortisol levels are chronically high.” Worrying causes cortisol and epinephrine levels to rise, causing overall immunity to weaken. Whether we are stressed from lack of sleep, a busy schedule, or worried about getting sick, this doesn’t help us fight sicknesses. In fact, constant worrying is arguably one of the unhealthiest stressors we can put our body under.
Mind over matter.
Haven’t you heard the saying, Positive Mental Attitude? Staying positive and telling ourselves we won’t get sick actually releases levels of nitric oxide, which balance neurotransmitters, improve immunity, and increase circulation, according to Northup. You can improve your resistance to disease by simply thinking you won’t get sick. Easy enough!
Wash your hands… all the time.
Germs are everywhere. If we could see germs, there’s a chance we’d never go outside again, but just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Becoming a germophobe isn’t advised either, but continuous hand-washing after touching door knobs, railings and other objects multiple people touch can help you from catching those bad germs. According to the Center for Disease Control, 20 seconds of washing your hands is the most effective way to avoid the 1 billion diseases Americans catch each year.
What other tips do you have for beating seasonal illness?