With the flu season upon us, Dr. Leonard M. Malamud, director of Aria Health’s Division of Family Practice, offers the following preventative tips to help you avoid the dreaded flu:
- Get the Flu Vaccine: While washing your hands frequently and keeping warm can help you avoid sickness, the best way to prevent the flu is to receive the vaccine.
- Eat Healthy Foods: natural anti-viral fruits and vegetables can prevent the onslaught of any sickness. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a multitude of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that boost your immune system and provide healthy nutrient content. The all-time fan favorite, chicken soup, also helps with the common cold by opening up congested noses and throats while providing fluid.
- Wash Your Hands (Often): The flu is often transmitted through the mucous membrane, so it’s important to keep your hands clean and to avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth, when in public spaces where germs are easily spread. Also, avoid close contact with people who are sick while out and about. If you feel a cold coming on, it’s best to stay home and rest.
- Stay Hydrated: It’s important to ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Preventing dehydration is critical as dehydration will make you more prone to infections. Aim to take in at least six glasses of water a day to better boost your immune system in response to viruses.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Lack of sleep can lower your immune system, increasing your vulnerability to colds and infections. Make sure to get plenty of rest – at least for eight hours – to give your body ample time to rest and reboot.