Ready or not cold and flu season has arrived. Which means many folks will have advice for you about staying healthy over the next few months.
But let’s face it. You mastered coughing into your elbow and washing your hands more often ages ago. You’re well aware that antibiotics are useless for preventing OR treating either illness.
And you know the REAL statistics on the wild guess they call the flu vaccine.
Even the CDC admits that in a “good” year the flu shot can be around 40 percent effective. In a bad one, when their best guess missed the mark, it can plummet to under 15 percent effective. And the vaccine’s potential effectiveness drops drastically as we age.
Avoid cold or flu all fall and winter long
You’re ready for the NEXT step in prevention advice. The tricks for avoiding a cold or flu you haven’t heard a million times before.
Keep reading for six simple, but effective, health hacks which can help keep you from sniffling and sneezing all season long.
1. Dig into mushrooms:
Admit it, more often than not you pass right by the mushrooms in the produce aisle. If you’re like most folks, you don’t give them a second look unless they happen to be in a recipe you’re trying. But the unassuming mushroom packs a surprising punch when it comes to keeping you healthy.
A study out of the University of Florida found that eating mushrooms raises secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) levels. And sIgA is our best first line of defense against cold or flu bugs.
These antibodies set up shop in the mucous membranes lining our nose and upper respiratory tract. And ultimately, they block bugs from getting through our gut walls and making us sick. Plus these feisty fungi trigger the creation of cells that can help fight the flu and kill a cold.
2. Pop a probiotic:
Studies from all over the world have confirmed probiotics directly reduce how often people come down with a cold or flu. Plus they can help slash the length of an illness if you do end up getting sick.
Experts say over 70 percent of our immune system is in our guts. And remember I just told you about sIgA our first defense against all kinds of bugs? Well, it turns out probiotics can stimulate the production of sIgA too.
In one study, a mix of five probiotic strains slashed colds by 35 percent and significantly reduced the length of colds and coughs for folks who did get sick. And in another clinical trial, the same probiotic cocktail decreased episodes of flu by 48 percent. Plus the length of time people who did get sick had flu symptoms was slashed by 55 percent.
3. Avoid dirty phone calls:
It’s a report which will literally make your stomach turn. University of Arizona researchers say your cell phone has 10 times more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat. Gross!
But don’t make the mistake of spraying a chemical cleaner on your phone. That can destroy it. Instead, experts recommend a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water. (But be sure to check with your manufacturer to see what’s safest for your model.)
Dip a clean, soft cloth into your vinegar and water mix and gently rub down your phone. And then dry it off immediately with a fresh cloth. Use whatever is left over to wipe down doorknobs, kitchen handles, and computer mice. They’re often full of cold or flu bugs too.
4. Always carry gloves:
I’ve suggested before that you get into the habit of carrying your own pen for signing credit card receipts and even pushing elevator buttons. Hopefully, you’ve already adopted this easy step to avoid getting a cold or flu.
But you’re still liable to pick up cold or flu bugs when opening doors or navigated stairs. That’s where gloves come in.
Buy a few pairs of inexpensive, washable gloves you can wear whenever you venture outside. Since the temperatures are dropping, no one will give you a second look.
They will help protect you from all the germs lurking on those surfaces. And when you get home you can toss them into the washer.
5. Load up on garlic:
You’ve probably heard of garlic’s benefits for your heart. But it turns out the veggie that bites back is also a winner when it comes to supercharging your immune system so you can avoid a cold or flu.
Studies have revealed two powerful compounds in garlic… allicin and allium… are responsible for the immune system boost. And should you get sick eating more garlic—say in some delicious chicken soup, for example—could help shorten both the length and the severity of the cold or flu.
6. Eat more apples:
Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she made apples a fall crop. Because these delicious cool-weather fruits are packed with immune building flavonoids. And with anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties flavonoids could help keep you healthy all fall and winter long.
A study conducted at the University of Auckland in New Zealand showed flavonoids are a powerful deterrent of upper respiratory tract infections. Folks with more flavonoids in their diets were 33 percent less likely to come down with the common cold.
Take your immune-boosting game to the next level. Avoid getting a cold or flu this season with these six health hacks to avoid sniffling and sneezing all season long.