Whether you’re trying to avoid flu like… well, the Plague, or you’re already feeling that first tickle in the back of your throat, these flu-fighting tips can help beat the virus.
1. Get a flu jab
The most effective way to avoid flu is by going for an injection. Flu vaccines are concocted according to what research has indicated will be the most common flu viruses in the upcoming season. They work by encouraging antibodies to develop about two weeks after the jab’s been given, which provide protection against the viruses
contained in the vaccine. The Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months have a flu injection annually.
2. Avoid physical contact with flu-sufferers
If possible, try to avoid touching anyone who shows signs of flu, such as coughing, sneezing and sniffling. Try not to hug or shake hands, and explain that you don’t mean to be rude, you’re just looking after your health. Wash your hands after being in close contact with people you think might be ill.
3. Keep your hands clean
Washing your hands regularly with sanitiser is the easiest way to prevent illness and infections, as your hands constantly come into contact with germs on objects and surfaces which are quickly transferred to your eyes, nose and mouth. The CDC advises that you wash your hands before, during and after meal preparation, before eating, before and after attending to a sick person, after using the toilet, after sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing, as well as
after handling any garbage or touching animals.
4. Keep your office space hygienic
Flu is notoriously easily spread. You can contract it from other infected people and from surfaces such as lift buttons, door handles, phones and keyboards. Use an alcohol-based sanitiser to sterilise your work surfaces and avoid directly touching surfaces you can’t sterilise, or wash your hands immediately after touching them.
5. Juice it
Boost your immune system to help prevent flu, or help speed up recovery if you’re already ill. Juices containing carrot, citrus or watermelon can help ease inflammation, provide vitamin C and relieve sore muscles, respectively. You can also add healthy berries and immune-boosting spices, such as ginger and cinnamon, for an extra lift.
6. Eat flu-fighting foods
Foods high in antioxidants and vitamins, especially vitamin C, can help your system resist flu. Up your intake of fruits and veggies by making dishes packed with them, like smoothies and soups. Try to eat five fruits and vegetables daily,
especially red, orange and yellow varieties which contain greater amounts of vitamin C. You can also season meals with herbs and spices that have healing and health-boosting properties, like garlic, turmeric and cumin. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids also have particularly powerful health benefits, so try to incorporate more oily fish into your diet, such as salmon and fresh tuna.
7. Try a salt water rinse
Studies have shown that rinsing your nasal passages with salt water using a neti pot or sinus irrigation device, or gargling with salt water, helps to remove bacteria and germs, and aids in decongestion. It can also help rid you of a cough and relieve the pain caused by decongestion and a sore throat.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM
The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always consult your GP or a medical specialist for specific information regarding your health.