Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

 

Handwashing, tea steeping, someone meditating and a woman sleeping in a bedDid you know? The influenza virus may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore be able to infect more people in the winter reports Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences blog. 

With the holidays behind us and a long winter ahead, it’s important to protect yourself and family against the nasty flu and pesky cold. To help, we’ve come up with a few tips to stay healthy.

  1. Add watercress to your daily diet as a vitamin booster. Based on its nutrient-to-calorie ratio, watercress is ranked highest on the nutrient scale. It even has as much vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C helps the body fight again against immune system deficiencies and the common cold.
  2. Stay hydrated. “Your mucous membranes and the immune cells in their secretions defend against cold viruses, and they can’t work as well if you’re dehydrated,” says Dr. Jamey Wallace, MD, chief medical officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle in Prevention. Herbal tea on a chilly day is a great way to stay hydrated. Try our Trifecta Tea made with our Living Watercress here
  3. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap frequently. According to waterandhealth.org, “It is important to dry hands thoroughly after washing because some bacteria remain on hands after washing, and these bacteria are more easily spread via wet hands than dry ones.”
  4. Get enough sleep. When you don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep (7-9 hours of quality sleep is recommended for adults) it makes it more challenging for your body to stave off an infection. In fact researchers of one study found that exposed subjects to a common cold virus and those who slept less than 6 hours a night during the prior week were 4 times more likely to get a cold.
  5. Meditate and exercise. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison found that individuals, “involved in mindfulness training can reduce the incidence, duration or severity of acute respiratory infections (ARI) by 40 to 50 percent and the use of exercise can reduce symptoms by 30 to 40 percent.” Need helping getting started? Our very own Charlene Rodriguez, a wellness and fitness expert, shares a few exercising and mindfulness tips here.