Flu activity often begins to increase in October and often peaks between December and February. Research shows that immune system performance lowers during these months as a result of temperature drops, and lack of vitamin D.
Ahead we will provide you with a guide for keeping your immune system strong as we approach flu season.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands is the first and best way to protect yourself from germs. One study found that washing your hands can reduce respiratory transmitted illness by more than 20 percent. Make it a habit to wash your hands at any possible break and scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Studies have shown that using hand sanitizers with 60-95 percent alcohol is more effective at killing germs than non-alcohol-based sanitizers. I like to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my car, and in my purse for convenience.
Keep up with laundry
Clothes, towels, bedsheets, and even those cute stuffed animals can play a big role in spreading infectious germs and the flu. Wash items in the hottest water-safe setting for the fabric and use a color-safe bleach solution to wipe out any stubborn germs. When handling dirty laundry, carry items in a basket instead of in your arms and wash your hands after handling the dirty items. Consider purchasing two baskets. One for dirty items, and one for clean items. This way you will avoid any cross-contamination.
Sanitize, sanitize & then sanitize some more
Germs can live on hard surfaces for up to several days. Kitchen and bathroom countertops, highchairs, and door handles are all breeding grounds for germs. It is so important to disinfect these areas often. Phones, TV remotes, and light switches should also be wiped down frequently.
Get a good night's sleep
Research shows that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night are more likely to catch a cold than those who get at least 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is the time when your body repairs and regenerates itself. Getting quality sleep regularly helps strengthen your immune system, helping your body fight off any infections. If you need some extra help getting a good night's rest, read our blog post on how to Sleep Better & Sleep Longer here.
Get some fresh air
One of the reasons people get sick more in the winter is because we are all inside sharing the same air. Opening up a window to let in some fresh air or going on a brief walk can do wonders for cleaning up your lungs. If that is not possible, an air purifier is a great investment. Some air purifiers are specifically designed to neutralize viruses and remove impurities from the air that we breathe.
Eating for the season can also contribute to supporting your immune health.
- Green Smoothie - Leafy greens are loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants that will strengthen your immune system from the inside out. Consider trying our delicious green smoothie recipe to support your immune health during the flu season.
- Bone broth - Is a sippable beverage that contains collagen, and other vitamins that help in supporting the immune system. Check out our blog post for an easy and convenient recipe to prepare bone broth. After preparing the broth, you may store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze it for more extended storage.
- Citrus fruits- Most citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits contain high levels of vitamin C. Whether you eat them whole or squeeze them into a cup of water, add these fruits to your diet to help increase your white blood cells.
- Berries - Blueberries, blackberries, and goji berries are packed with vitamins and nutrients to give your body the boosts that it needs.
Everyone faces stress in life but, when that stress becomes chronic, it may weaken our immune systems. You can find ways to manage your stress here. The goal is not to eliminate stress (as that would be impossible) but rather to learn how to reduce it.
Switch out your toothbrush
After you have recovered from being sick, it is best to start with a new toothbrush that is fresh and clean, especially if you suffer from a weakened immune system. If you are not sick, replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or when the bristles begin to fray. When in doubt, change your toothbrush!
Incorporate high-quality supplements into your life
Immune Defense at Sol Nutrition is a great supplement for a strong body defense. The herbal ingredients in this formula help form a strong immune system by helping remove toxins and allergens within your body. This formula contains natural antioxidants to help your body stay strong and healthy during flu season.
Some of the key ingredients for Immune Defense include:
- Ren Shen Root - Also known as ginseng, helps regulate your immune system and neutralizes harmful radicals in the body.
- Longan Fruit - Contains various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C which plays a vital role in the production of immune cells.
- Gula Kola - This is another source of anti-inflammatory & antioxidants, but also helps promote collagen which is essential for tissue repair and immune cell function.
- Elderberry - Is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. It is also gentle enough for daily immune support.
- Schisandra - This herb plays an important role in liver health, helping filter and eliminate toxins from the body.
- Andrographis - Often referred to as the ‘king of bitters’ this herb is a superhero for your immune system.
Boost your energy
Unlike other stimulants, Gogo Energy will give you a long-lasting boost of energy without compromising your adrenals. This formula is rich in vitamins A, B, C & minerals. This product gives you energy without the feelings of jitters all while boosting your immune system at the same time.
Treat your allergies
When allergies are out of control, your respiratory tract is already inflamed. This makes you an easy target for catching the flu. Allergy Ease at Sol Nutrition helps relieve symptoms from common allergies caused by seasonal, environmental, food, and pet allergies. Keeping your head and chest allergy-free not only helps you feel better but also strengthens your ability to fight off any nasty germs.
As the weather cools down, do your immune system a favor by following this immune defense guide for the flu season. It is important that we keep ourselves healthy but also help in preventing the spread of the flu. If you feel sick - regardless if you think it is the flu or not, stay home and take some days to get better.