Feared of that blocked nose and aching throat? Lost an important day at the office due to that bad headache and fever? Well, all these symptoms of flu that appear minor, are known to being problematic to many of you during weather changes.
Flu is an infective illness caused by influenza viruses that infect your respiratory system- the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs, when complicated. It can lead to mild to severe disease. And the fact is catching flu with changes in season is extremely common with most people. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. But do you know of other natural ways to reduce the chances of falling sick to flu? How do you prevent becoming prey to the flu?
Here we are covering 8 most useful ways to prevent flu naturally.
- Follow a healthy, nutrient-rich eating plan: Include a variety of fruits and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet. These are superfoods- full of vitamins and antioxidants. These health elements help promote good health and reduce the risk of catching flu. If you still get the infection and have a fever, do not presume it to be flu on your own; fever can be a symptom of various infections. Get tested within the comfort of your home and rule out the more serious causes.
- Amp up your vitamin C supply: Although the evidence is a bit conflicting, vitamin C intake appears to boost some aspects of the body’s defense system. Certain studies have shown that vitamin C helps prevent colds in people who are exposed to cold weather or who have undergone extreme physical activity.
Some studies show that vitamin C can help in the treatment as well due to some extent. It might reduce the duration of a cold by as much as 24 to 36 hours. It is advisable to include vitamin C-rich food like oranges, lemon, etc., in your diet. Some people can get an aggravation of symptoms when they consume vitamin C-rich fruits if they have already caught flu. In such cases, do not force-fit fruits rich in vitamin C.
- Garlic for immunity: Garlic is considered to stimulate the immune system. There is some preliminary evidence available that states garlic may decrease the chances of catching a cold and flu. Ensure to avoid overcooking garlic, it works best when consumed raw. Overcooking may destroy important medicinal elements and reduce its health benefits.
- Sleep like a baby: Sleep is a crucial step to strengthen your immune system. However, it is usually overlooked by many of you, which increases the risk of catching the disease-causing virus. Prioritize your sleep schedule as it is the most natural way to fend off the flu and some other pesky illnesses. If you are dealing with sleep issues, limit caffeine intake to at least 4-5 hours before nighttime. You can consider consulting an expert as well. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
- Up your zinc intake: Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for your immune system. It is involved in numerous cellular processes such as helping your body make white blood cells (WBCs). The WBCs fight germs and keep you safe from infections. Some research has shown that zinc can help alleviate symptoms of flu and cold. A possible reason for how zinc helps is that it may slow down the virus multiplication. Though the evidence is not robust, you can still give it a shot. A balanced diet with fresh fruits, vegetables should be able to make up for your zinc needs. You can choose to take zinc supplements during the flu season as well. Make sure that moderation is the key to include any health supplements in routine life. You can take a zinc supplement or a multivitamin with zinc during flu season.
- Sip on herbal tea: Herbal teas are rich in antioxidants and natural flavonoids and can impart some natural germ-fighting properties. In addition, sipping on herbal drinks soothes your throat and sinuses. While plentiful readymade options are available that you can relish, you can make your own herbal kadha (decoction) by adding turmeric, ginger, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. The readymade bagged teas contain some or many of these as dried ingredients combined together.
Think you have been taking good care of your health and still lack enough immunity? Get a health test done and find out for yourself what might be hurting your health.
- Follow hygiene etiquettes: Sick people can transfer respiratory viruses like the influenza virus on to the surfaces through coughing and sneezing into their hands and then touching the surface. These viruses can then be transferred into your body and get you sick if you come in contact with the infected surfaces and do not maintain proper hand hygiene. Ensure to wash your hands often. Or, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands when soap and water are unavailable. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes since the flu virus can can also enter your body when your infected hands touch your face.Sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow. Throw tissues away in a dustbin promptly.
- Maintain some moisture in the air at your homes: Dry indoor air can allow the flu virus to live longer which makes the virus spread more easily. Use a humidifier to add humidity in your home and workplace to reduce dryness of air and reduce flu viruses in the air.
The final word
Pay extra attention to the hygienic measures during weather changes. Getting a flu vaccine is another easy way to combat flu-causing viruses. Do not ignore your symptoms if they worsen or do not get better even after 7-8 days, reach out to an expert and get help.