October means apple picking, haunted hay rides, and the start of cold and flu season.
How Can I Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season?
Most adults have 2-3 colds per year, while children are more likely to have 5-10 because they are not yet immune to many cold viruses. The CDC reports that the common cold is the primary reason adults miss work and children miss school. Also, 5%-20% of the U.S. population contracts the flu every year according to WebMD. While peak flu season runs from December to February, it never hurts to start practicing healthy habits early in order to ward off future infections.
When it comes to cold and flu prevention, most people are familiar with the tried-and-true methods:
- Wash your hands
- Avoid touching your face
- Sanitize your phone and workspace
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow
- Drink plenty of orange juice or take Vitamin C supplements
But if you want to cut down on your Kleenex costs this year, there are few more natural steps you can take to prevent you and your family from contracting a cold or flu this year.
Eat more protein
The antibodies that make up the majority of your immune system and help to fight off viruses and bacteria are made of proteins. A diet high in protein can help create new antibodies and bolster your cold-fighting abilities. Also, protein-rich foods often include other nutrients which are important for building a healthy immune system, including zinc (beans, seafood) and magnesium (nuts).
Invest in a humidifier
There’s a reason more people catch the flu during the winter and not the summer: humidity. The flu virus cannot survive for very long in an environment with 40 - 60% humidity. During colder months, however, indoor heating often produces the perfect dry environment for the flu virus to transmit easily from person to person. With a humidifier, you can keep your rooms at a comfortable moisture level that allows you to breathe more easily and helps avoid some of the other uncomfortable drying effects of the fall and winter seasons. Make sure moisture levels are not too high, though, or else mold could appear.
Get a massage
When you’re stressed, you’re also more susceptible to infection. Massages help reduce the cortisol levels in your body and make you feel more relaxed. Researchers have also found that a 45 minute massage results in the increased production of lymphocytes, white blood cells which help defend the body from disease. So treat yourself, and fight infection in the process!
Regular chiropractic care and adjustments can also help support your immune system and ensure your entire body is functioning properly to ward off against the cold and flu. Schedule your next appointment today online or by calling (973) 761-0022, and stay healthy during the upcoming months!