Nobody likes getting the flu, but you don’t have to buy rubber gloves or a surgical mask to keep from catching the miserable illness. Learn how to prevent the flu naturally in 3 simple ways.
How to Prevent the Flu Naturally: 3 Steps
1. Wash Your Hands
You’ve heard this one before, but there’s a reason for it: washing your hands can significantly reduce the likelihood of contracting a virus. Doorknobs, keyboards and handshakes will expose you to nasty germs that can cause the flu, or worse. Washing with warm water and soap is the best way to clean your hands, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are better than nothing; also, remember to wash them long enough to recite your ABC’s!
Always wash your hands before prepping food or eating – that’s an essential step. In addition, cleaning the hands before taking care of sick people, giving medicine, and taking out contacts are all important, and you should always wash your hands after doing any of the following: preparing food (especially raw meat or poultry), using the restroom or changing a diaper, touching an animal (yes, those cute little puppies carry germs), blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing into your hands (more on that later), and a host of other actions. Ultimately, keeping your hands germ-free is a great way to keep the flu away.
2. Eat Right
Nutrition is a vital part of staying healthy and fending off all sorts of diseases and illnesses, but if you want to eat right to avoid the flu, you’ll need to consume lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fresh, anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables are the best – kale, spinach, oranges, blueberries, and carrots will all do the trick. Want an extra boost to your flu-defense? Try probiotics, which can be found in yogurt, kefir (a yogurt-like drink), miso, and sauerkraut (just watch out for the hotdog it usually comes with).
Along with eating well to fight off the flu, you’ll be sure to keep your body running like a well-oiled machine by eating fresh & natural veggies, fruits, whole grains and probiotics. So consider your flu-defense diet one that you can continue throughout the year for optimal health, not just when you’re trying to avoid the sniffles and prevent the flu.
3. Cover Your Mouth….and Not with Your Hands
Coughing and sneezing are surefire ways to spread viruses, so one of the most important things to remember is to never cough or sneeze into your hands; this is one of the easiest ways to spread disease because it can transfer germs to other objects or to yourself by touching your face. Coughing into a tissue or sneezing into your elbow (upper sleeve) are good alternatives. In the end, coughing or sneezing into your hand is one of the worst ways to spread the flu, besides, of course, doing it in someone’s face.
By washing your hands, eating right, and knowing the appropriate manner by which to cough and sneeze are great ways to prevent contracting and spreading the flu. About 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year for influenza, so practicing preventive measures has never been more important. By following these 3 steps, you can surely prevent the flu and keep the sniffling, sneezing and coughing away.
Photo by Robert S. Donovan