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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

10 Natural Tips to Keep Colds and Flu at Bay

Nov 07, 2010 11:17PM

Experts agree that a generally healthful lifestyle, including following a nutritious diet, works to ward off sniffles, stuffy noses and the aches of a cold, and may even help safeguard against influenza. But it’s best not to wait for the first symptoms of a cold or flu to manifest; instead, we can take ongoing preventive action by strengthening our immune system. Applying these 10 tips will naturally help keep away such bugs:

Wash hands. The best way to get rid of everyday germs is to wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Plain soap is best.

Get enough rest. Sleep plays a crucial role in the body’s recovery and repair cycle; when people don’t get enough sleep, they compromise their defense systems.

Think clean. Clean surfaces frequently shared with others, such as stair rails, telephones, computer keyboards, countertops and door knobs, in order to avoid hand-to-hand spreading of viruses.

Freshen the air. Germs hang around in stagnant air. Make it a habit to open the windows for a few minutes several times a day to allow fresh air to circulate.

Think food first, rather than supplements. Eating healthy and naturally provides a whole nutritional package, comprising a combination of nutrients. Relying on supplements entails ingesting isolated vitamins and minerals that may pass through the body unabsorbed.

Use garlic when cooking. Garlic has antibacterial properties and helps detoxify the body.

Drink herbal teas. Teas containing Echinacea, astragalus and licorice root boost the immune system and help inhibit viral and bacterial growth.

Drink plenty of fluids. Even when it’s cold outside, it’s important to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, which inhibit the immune function.

No hands touching the face. Most cold and flu viruses enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

Exercise with gusto. Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart and makes us breathe faster, supplying the body with more oxygen, which in turn, helps increase the body’s amount of natural virus-killing cells.

Sources: Nutrition.About.com; HolisticOnline.com; WebMD.com

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