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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Natural Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu

I have to admit that my Thursday 13 this week is self-serving. I'm battling with colds once again and I so want to kick this in the butt already as I have some big things coming for the next weeks. I already did a post about common colds before and in fact did a part 2 post where I shared some natural home remedies for common colds. So for this week I'd like to share some natural ways to prevent colds and even flu. (Yes, I am trying to educate myself on these as I have been a victim of this illness lately.)

1. Drink, drink, drink!
How many times have you heard that eight glasses a day is good for the body? Probably every day and in fact that is one thing I always mention here. This habit is a good one for the body in many ways, as it washes out the system, and is needed in order to maintain a healthy diet and a clear, healthy complexion. So make sure you get 8-10 glasses of water a day!
Also, hot liquids like fruit teas and lemon drinks will ease any nasal congestion you feel coming on and prevent dehydration. A dried-out respiratory system will leave you more prone to infection.
2. Get that Zzz your body deserve!
Yes, you read it right. Getting enough sleep means less likely to have colds and flu.The fact that a certain amount of sleep is required in order to remain healthy cannot be repeated enough. Not only does sleep help the body stay alert throughout your day, it also helps the immune system to stay strong. (No wonder, I'm so poor at it the past days!) 

3.  Start gargling...
According to a Japanese research daily gargling with water reduces cold risk. People who gargled with water were 36 percent less likely to be struck down when compared those who don't. The study suggests that simple water gargling is effective to prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
4.  Sterilize your toothbrush...and change it regularly.
While toothbrush clean our teeth, after brushing, they become breeding ground for germs. Run your toothbrush through the microwave on high for ten seconds to kill germs that can cause colds and other illnesses.  Sterilize it in the microwave before you use it, or store it in hydrogen peroxide (rinse well before using), or simply replace it every month when you change the page on your calendar and after you’ve had a cold.
5. Wash those hands!
And do it often. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. The Naval Health Research Center conducted a study of 36,000 recruits who were ordered to wash their hands five times a day. Amazingly the recruits cut their incidence of respiratory illnesses by 45 percent.
6. Rub those eyes gently,
...using your knuckles.  It’s less likely to be contaminated with viruses than your fingertip. This is particularly important given that the eye provides a perfect entry point for germs, and the average person rubs his eyes or nose or scratches his face 20-50 times a day.
7.  Eat yogurt!
Researchers from University of California found that individuals who ate one cup of yogurt — whether live culture or pasteurized — had 25 percent fewer colds than non-yogurt eaters. Start your yogurt eating right away to build up your immunity before cold and flu season starts. For more benefit of yogurt, you may want to check an old post I wrote, The Joy of Yogurt.
8. Go for garlic.
When 147 volunteers received either one garlic supplement a day or a placebo for twelve weeks between November and February, those taking the garlic were not only less likely to get a cold, but if they did catch one, their symptoms were less intense and they recovered faster.
9. Sneeze and cough the right way.
And that means to sneeze and cough into the arm. Whoever taught us to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze got it wrong. That just puts the germs right on our hands, where you can spread them to objects — and other people. Instead, hold the crook of your elbow over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough if a tissue isn’t handy. It’s pretty rare that you shake someone’s elbow or scratch your eye with an elbow, after all. 
10. Wipe, don’t blow. 
Colds won’t hang around as long, according to a University of Virginia study. Turns out that the force of blowing not only sends the gunk out of your nose into a tissue, but propels some back into your sinuses. And, in case you’re curious, they discovered this using dye and X rays. If you need to blow, blow gently, and blow one nostril at a time. 
11. Get some exercise.
Exercise is very healthy for the body, in many ways. Exercising regularly, Not only develops muscle mass and strength, it also makes the immune system a heavyweight champion.
12.  What to do when at public restrooms.
Studies find a shockingly large percentage of people fail to wash their hands after using a public restroom. And every single one of them touches the door handle on the way out. So after washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Use another paper towel to dry your hands, then open the door with that paper towel as a barrier between you and the handle. It sounds nuts, but it’s an actual recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to protect you from infectious diseases like cold and flu.
13. Doctor, doctor, I am sick!
All these are simple ways to help avoid the flu — but they are not substitutes for medical treatment or advice.

Remember that the flu is something that everyone gets once in a while, and there is no 100% guarantee to prevent it. These tips can help reduce the chances of being stuck at home with some nasty flu but that doesn’t mean we can’t still call in sick once in a while…like I do!


  1. I knew this all except for yogurt. And I love yogurt. Gonna go get the 'fridge stocked up when the daylight shows its face.

    My Thursday post is now posted if you'd like to drop by.... 13 sisters

  2. I always feel better after a nice walk outside. I add a bit of meditation to my daily wellness, it helps me relax and sleep better at night.

    Happy T-13!

  3. Good stuff! I rarely get sick here, knock on wood. Must be all the yoghurt and sleep LOL

    Happy T13!

  4. It always amazes me how many people don't go to a doctor when sick.

  5. I just suggest do not combine the yogurt and garlic together ;) Smile! Get better soon, been there too often this winter myself.
    Hope you'll drop by my blogs for my T13s at The Cafe & The Library.

  6. I like to keep beta glucan on hand. It pumps up the T cell production of the immune system. Also getting good sleep and avoiding stress helps us not be so susceptible.

  7. Never knew that about micorwaving one's toothbrush!

  8. They say sweet potatoes and mushrooms haveimprtant anti toxins as well good post sandy