Did you know that eating refined sweets puts your body into an acidic state, just the way all those nasty pathogens and flu bugs like it? Sugar can apparently weaken your immunity by suppressing the immune system’s macrophage cells, which act as an important defense shield by helping to remove unwanted substances from your blood – like harmful bacteria and viruses.
And speaking of harmful bacteria and viruses, shaking hands is a good way to spread those bugs from person to person. Although it’s a cultural no-no to refuse to shake hands, you can’t tell if those you’re shaking hands with have washed their hands properly after sneezing or coughing into them – or at all. Try a big smile instead.
With seasonal flu season in full swing, I was glad to find more healthy tips for fighting off viral attacks and surviving flu season from Janelle Sorenson, a senior writer at Healthy Child, Healthy World. Her advice is not only good for children, but also for those – like heart patients – at high risk for serious health complications as a result of influenza. A sampling here of just one of her 10 tips, Declare Germ Warfare:
- Make sure everyone in your family washes hands often with soap. Ditch the antibacterial soap – research shows plain soap is just as effective. Sing the ABC’s or “Happy Birthday” while vigorously lathering palms, between fingers, up and down thumbs, around nail beds, and the backs of your hands. Pay particular attention to hand hygiene before and after each meal, after being outside, using the bathroom, handling pets, blowing noses, and after being anywhere in public.
- When you’re out and about, carry non-toxic wipes or hand sanitizer with you for quick cleanups.
- If someone in the family gets sick, keep his/her toothbrush separate from everyone else’s. Give it a good soak in boiling water or just toss it after the illness isn’t contagious anymore to get rid of any lingering germs or viruses.
- Replace your shared hand towels every day during cold and flu season.
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve or a tissue. Coughing into your hands puts the germs right where you can spread them to any object (or person) you touch.
For more sound advice to help you get through flu season, find weekly updates from Flu Watch about seasonal influenza rates across Canada.
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- Is It the Flu or the Common Cold?
- How Long Can Those Flu Bugs Live on That Doorknob?
- Should Heart Patients Get the H1N1 Flu Vaccine?