Now that the kids or grandkids are back at school, you can pretty much bank on the fact that they’ll be sick in a few weeks. The youngsters will pass the cold and flu on to you, and such is the circle of life. However, by taking action now, you might be able to prevent—or at least soften the blow—of the illness that is undoubtedly coming.
To make illness less likely or more comfortable to handle, there are a few things to do. One is to adjust your diet. Eating nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables can help improve immune system function and increase readiness to fight off a cold or other illness. Taking a vitamin C supplement for the next few months may help too, as research indicates that taking vitamin C prior to infection can shorten the duration of a cold and slash the severity of symptoms.
Another beneficial step to prevent illness this time of year is to regularly wash your hands. Whenever you come in from being outside, take a few moments to wash with soap. This way, anything you might have picked up on your travels can be cleaned off before taking hold of you.
This is an excellent time of year to get out for a walk. The temperatures are comfortable, and we’re just a few weeks away from gorgeous fall colors. Further, when your blood is pumping, it helps boost activity of white blood cells to attack viruses that may have found their way in. Upping activity for an hour per day may help prevent the onset of illness with its immune-boosting effects. Consider taking the stairs, parking further away from entrances, etc. to get those activity numbers up.
Getting a little more zinc in your diet, or through supplementation, may also help keep you healthy and fend off infection. Zinc interferes with a viruses ability to penetrate and affect your cells, which may shorten the duration of infections. Try to eat more meat, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
Lastly, eat less processed foods. Sugary and greasy foods (high in trans or added saturated fats) can throw your immune system into overdrive by boosting inflammation. Eating less of this stuff will ensure a stronger, healthier, and more responsive immune system to attack illness should it arrive.
Start your cold and flu season defense plan now to keep you as healthy as possible through the fall and winter—especially if you have grandchildren!