Avoiding the Flu 101

Updated: Jun 12

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many cases of infection and illness, including food–borne illness. Wash with soap, using a nail brush when possible, for at least 15 seconds and drying with a clean towel is preferred. Don`t touch your face or put your hands in your mouth. Getting in the habit of keeping dirty hands (or pens!! etc) away from all entry points into our body will minimize the opportunity for infection.

Quality Sleep! Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. Take a Multi-Vitamin regularly in addition to eating a healthy diet. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as "micronutrient malnutrition." Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals, can be quite common, especially in people over 65 years of age (older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets). Vitamin C, B6, and E are the main players in fostering good immunity and I would bet that most North American diets are low in vitamins B6 and E. Instead of taking separate pills, a well-rounded multi vitamin is the easier solution.

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