What do you do when your colleague is suffering with cold and flu? You might be getting the phobia of yourself catching it because he or she sits next to your cubicle. You then start avoiding the person or stop shaking hands with your co-worker.
Shaking hands is a common way of transferring germs from one person to another. Health experts have suggested that to avoid shaking hands, you could do a fist bump. While sometimes handshake is unavoidable and is not socially feasible, hand-washing afterwards could kill the germs that your hands have picked up.
Cold and flu is caused by viruses and both of these are respiratory infections. The symptoms of cold are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, headache and mild tiredness.
The symptoms of flu include dry cough, moderate to high fever, sore throat, headache, stuffy and runny nose, body aches, severe fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
So, read on to know more about the ways to prevent cold and flu naturally.
1. Stop Biting Your Nails
Noted studies have shown that biting your nails is another great way to transfer germs on your hands to your mouth. Though, biting nails can be a difficult habit to break, but doing so will benefit you in many ways. The entry point of illness is your nose and mouth, and the nails and hands contain a lot of germs that might enter your mouth easily. So, it's recommended to not bite your nails, as this will reduce the risk of you getting sick.
2. Taking A Walk
Studies have showed that post-menopausal women who took regular to moderate exercise have a lower risk of getting cold and flu. Brisk walking for 45 minutes for at least five times a week will reduce the number of colds. Moderate exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per day will boost the production of white blood cells, which may enhance the immune response.
3. Keep Your Surfaces Clean
Keeping your surfaces clean at home and work is essential. The U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regularly cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces to prevent spreading of the germs like flu. You can use disinfectants to kill off the germs, especially in door knobs, keyboards, toilets, TV remotes and light switches.
4. Get A Good Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting less than seven to nine hours of sleep daily can make your body more vulnerable to illness. Sleep is essential for your overall well-being and insufficient quality sleep can increase susceptibility to infection. Many noted studies have shown that the body does not create as many immune cells and proteins with decreased sleep. So get your zzzzzz's daily.
Garlic can help keep cold and flu at bay because it contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. This spice is well known to stimulate the immune system in fighting diseases. The compounds found in garlic have been found to boost the response of white blood cells in the body that can help fight against viruses.
6. Use Probiotics
Having a healthy gut bacteria is essential in enhancing the immune system. This will allow the body to better fight off common infections and illnesses. Consuming probiotic foods will provide a variety of healthy bacteria that may aid in the proper functioning of the immune system. One of the richest sources of probiotics are yogurt, dark chocolate, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, etc.
7. Get Your Fibre
Consuming prebiotics, which feeds your gut bacteria, could give your immune system a boost. It is recommended to aim for a minimum of 30 grams of fibre every day from whole foods. Fibre provides a source of prebiotics to the bacteria in your gut. This helps to increase the variety of healthy bacteria in your gut, which further supports a healthy immune system.
8. Load Up On The Fruits And Vegetables
Consuming brightly coloured fruits and vegetables will help to make your immune system strong, because it contains antioxidants. Studies have shown that people who consumed flavonoids present in apples and berries were 33 percent less likely to have colds. Antioxidants like vitamin C can help fight off colds and flu and speed up recovery.
9. Staying Hydrated
Drinking water helps in flushing out the germs from the body. Keeping the body hydrated will keep your body functioning optimally, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Hydration will aid in enhancing your body's ability to fight off illnesses like cold and flu. It's advisable to drink eight glasses of water daily.
10. Green Tea
Sipping green tea with lemon and honey is another way to prevent cold and flu. Do you know why? Because while drinking green tea, you breathe in the steam which stimulates the cilia. Cilia are the hair follicles in the nose which move out the germs efficiently. Adding lemon in your tea will thin out the mucus and honey is antibacterial in nature. This maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent the infections.
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