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Proven Strategies to Safeguard Against Winter Colds

In winter, falling sick is the last thing anyone wants. The flu season kicks off during this time. Let's explore options for preventing the flu and maintaining a robust physical state for a happier, more productive life.


1- Consume Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables, rich in vitamins, support a healthy immune system and help maintain a balanced diet. Research on mice indicates that cruciferous vegetables send a chemical signal that increases specific cell-surface proteins crucial for effective immune system activity. In healthy mice not fed green veggies, 70–80% of cell-surface proteins were lost.


2- Supplement D

Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D daily, leading to symptoms like a weak immune system. A 2012 Pediatrics study recommends monitoring vitamin D levels in all children, especially dark-skinned individuals. Foods high in vitamin D include egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, canned tuna, and beef liver. Vitamin D pills, particularly D3 (cholecalciferol), are available and better at increasing blood levels.


3- Get a Flu Vaccination

Ensure your family gets vaccinated against the flu, even if your kids are homeschooling. The best defense against the virus is a flu vaccination. It's ideal to get vaccinated by November, but it's never too late.



4- Maintain Tidy Surfaces

Clean surfaces regularly to minimize germs. Even without illnesses, washing down surfaces and using disinfectant wipes helps keep your family healthy.


5- Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for a robust immune system. Establish a regular sleep schedule for the family. Children need 10 to 14 hours of sleep, while most adults require seven to eight hours.


6- Keep Exercising

Maintaining a regular exercise regimen, like three weekly walks, not only keeps you fit but also decreases stress and hormones linked to stress. This aids the body's defense against the common cold and inflammation.


7- Abstain from Excessive Drinking

Recent studies show that alcohol use can harm the body's dendritic cells, essential for the immune system. Alcohol reduces immunity in mice to varying degrees, explaining why immunizations are less effective for those who abuse alcohol.


8- Find Stress Relief

Long-term psychological stress can impact physical health. Manage stress through activities like yoga or meditation. Persistent stress increases cortisol release, leading to heightened inflammation, disease, and a compromised immune system.


9- Enjoy Green Tea

Green tea, rich in flavonoids, offers health benefits. Research suggests that having multiple freshly made cups daily may decrease the chance of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure.


10- Don't Overwork, and Give Yourself Rest!

Take a break from intense exercise. Give yourself at least two days a week off from vigorous activity to promote healing and reduce stress on your immune system. More sleep, especially when sick, is crucial for healing.


11- Reduce Tobacco Use

Smoking weakens the immune system and increases exposure to harmful "free radicals." Discuss effective techniques to quit smoking with your doctor.


12- Maintain Personal Space

Prevent the spread of germs among family members by keeping personal items separate, including toothbrushes, towels, cutlery, and drinking glasses. Wash contaminated objects thoroughly, or use disposable items when in doubt.


Wishing everyone a pleasant and healthy winter by following these twelve recommendations to ward off common colds and the flu.



Editor: Marina Ramzy Mourid

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