Tips to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
- Eat a diet rich in vitamins C and E. Foods containing these vitamins are helpful in supporting the immune system. Get your daily vitamin C from foods like orange juice, citrus fruits, broccoli and green peppers; foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower and corn oils, sunflower seeds and nuts such as almonds and peanuts. Also, make an effort to reduce your intake of concentrated sugar (e.g. soda, candy) because excessive sugar impairs the immune response.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is the critical period when your body rests and rejuvenates. Lack of Zs may profoundly inhibit your immune system, so get a full night’s rest to keep your body’s natural defenses working at top efficiency to ward off the flu.
- Stay hydrated. Increasing your water intake will help you stay healthy and lessen your chance of coming down with the flu. When you’re feeling under the weather, drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by fever, loosens mucus and keeps your throat moist. Warm liquids are preferable, and there is some evidence that inhaling steam early in the course of a cold or flu may reduce the spread of viruses in your upper respiratory tract.
- Get vaccinated: Getting the annual flu shot at the beginning of the flu season can help to build your immunity against the major flu strains. These vaccines are made up of weakened or killed organisms that cause major strains of the flu. When they are injected, your body reacts to them and develops antibodies. You will not get flu from these vaccines but when the active forms of these viruses try to enter during flu season, your body already has the antibodies required to fight them off, so you won’t get sick. Learn more about flu, the flu vaccine and staying healthy at MyMed.com.