The flu season is in full swing and staying protected is essential if you want to avoid getting sick. Your immune system is the first line of defense against viruses and infections, so make sure it’s strong and ready to keep you healthy.
Aside from getting a flu shot, you can also take some steps to boost your immunity every day. From eating fresh foods, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly to maintaining a high level of personal hygiene, there are many simple ways to help your body fight illnesses.
Keep reading to learn 7 tips for giving your immune system a booster shot that’ll help you stay healthy this flu season.
1. Drink Healthier Beverages
Staying hydrated during flu season is crucial for a healthy and strong immune system. Aside from drinking water, you can also benefit from green tea, fruit and veggie smoothies, juices, kefir, and immune booster shots.
Some of the best combos to make strong and delicious immune shots include:
- Apple juice + carrot + orange + beet juice
- Orange + grapefruit + lemon
- Tomato juice (homemade)
- Tomato + celery + kale
- Carrot + beet + ginger + turmeric
- Kiwi + strawberry + mint
- Kale + spinach + collard greens + honey + lemon
- Honey + lemon + orange + garlic + ginger + cayenne pepper + turmeric + black pepper + apple cider vinegar
Eating fruits and vegetables with high water content such as cucumbers and watermelons can also boost your liquid intake. Avoid sodas (even if they’re sugar-free), sweetened nut milks, protein shakes, too much caffeine, processed juices, and alcohol.
2. Reach for Fresh, Unprocessed Foods
The best weapon against the flu and the cold is your diet. Healthy, balanced, and nutrient-rich meals can be a powerful immune booster and give your body energy and vitality.
For starters, avoid or eliminate all processed foods and replace them with fresh ingredients. Wash your fruits and veggies before consuming, and if possible, prepare your meals from scratch.
In the fall and winter season, go for protein-rich food such as lean meat, poultry, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and seeds and nuts. Include healthy fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids that you can find in salmon, tuna, eggs, avocados, olive oil, chia seeds, and nuts.
When you need a healthy snack, opt for superfoods like berries, dark leafy greens, kefir, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes, Brussel sprouts, bone broth, and olives. Foods that have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties include garlic, fresh ginger, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar.
3. Implement Exercise Into Your Life
A strong body is a healthy body, especially in the winter season when the food is more caloric and we tend to move less. Working out at least three times a week will help you feel more energized and improve your blood circulation.
Simple activities like brisk walking, climbing up stairs, light jogging, biking, hiking, and even yoga can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Exercise stimulates the release of good mood hormones like serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, helping you feel better emotionally and be less reactive to stress.
4. Practice Self Care
One of the best methods for keeping the immune system strong is self-care. This includes protecting yourself from getting sick in the first place by avoiding crowded places, contact with sick people, staying in poorly ventilated places, and wearing a protective mask over your nose and mouth.
Self-care also means keeping stress at bay as this is one of the biggest culprits behind a weak immune system. Take some time to get a massage, get more rest during the week, try meditation, and do more activities that make you happy.
5. Wash Your Hands Often
Personal hygiene is one of the most important factors for warding off the flu, especially washing your hands regularly. Each handwashing session should last at least 20 seconds in order for the soap and water to remove dirt, bacteria, and germs. You can use regular or antibacterial soap as both types will clean your hands well.
The trick to clean hands is in the right washing method. You need to scrub them for 20 seconds and include the top of your hands, between the fingers, under the fingernails, and the wrists.
Make sure to wash your hands before and after every meal, after touching public surfaces, after using the bathroom, before and after handshaking, after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, and after touching an animal. Always carry a hand sanitizer and use it when you don’t have access to soap and water.
6. Get a Flu Shot
Nobody likes getting flu shots, but they’re necessary during flu season and can protect and boost your immune system instantly. A flu shot will help prepare your body for potential attacks by the flu virus and stimulate your immune system to be on high alert to fight off the infection.
Make sure to check the healthcare facility’s provider credentialing checklist before you go for a flu shot. The earlier you get it, the more effectively it’ll prepare your immune system for fighting off viruses.
7. Keep Surfaces Clean and Disinfected
Alongside personal hygiene, keeping all surfaces clean and disinfected can contribute to a healthier immune system. Wipe down surfaces you touch every day such as doorknobs, computer mouses and keyboards, tables, chairs, phones, and light switches. This is especially important in offices where multiple people touch these surfaces.
Whenever possible, use a tissue to open and close bathroom doors, push elevator buttons, or pick up the phone. Each morning before you start working, use wet wipes with alcohol to clean your desk. Pure tea tree oil can also help with disinfection as it has strong antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.
Immune System Booster Shot This Flu Season With These Tips
Flu season is inevitable no matter where you are, but instead of leaving it to luck, make sure your immune system is ready to battle all those nasty infections and viruses.
These tips will help you give your immune system booster shot this season and give your body the foundation it needs to stay healthy and strong.
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