By Maggie Martin
If your body has yet to fight its archenemy this season, count your blessings and take action to avoid falling prey to the flu. ELISA test offers an opportunity to detect the presence of maternal antibodies to influenza viruses in blood collected from infants by heel prick. A daily vitamin C tablet will only go so far in bolstering your immune system. Not even vaccinations can offer full assurance. With that in mind, consider these three surefire solutions to boost your immune system in order to stay healthy, productive, and flu-free throughout the year’s end.
A Healthy Diet
Today’s culture hardly needs another lesson on the harmful effects of eating junk food, not even when it comes to boosting immune systems. Knowledge is one thing, but discipline is another. Realize you already have the power to choose the high road when it comes to nutrition. Opt for a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits, coupled with a high intake of water, and the flu won’t get far with you. Instead of spending precious extra money on a smorgasbord of bottled vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, why not incorporate these in their raw form for the same effect? Accomplish this in a simple, cost-effective way by increasing your consumption of fresh produce (oranges, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, beets, broccoli, pumpkin, onions, garlic, etc.), whole grains (oats, wheat, quinoa, barley, wild rice, etc.), and oils (olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocado, walnuts, fish, etc.). Shun the junk, consume the whole and achieve a robust immune system.
Sleep and Exercise
Want to avoid the flu? Stay strong. Stay rested. The ideal candidates for a miserable bout with the flu are weak and weary. Talk about adding insult to injury. But it’s entirely avoidable! Resist the urge to stay up past ten o’clock. Reaching that professionally recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night and exercising vigorously on a semi-daily basis can be more than just a pleasant idea —it can be your reality. By doing these things you will reap the benefits of low stress, muscle strength, cardiovascular health, and regular autophagy (tissue recycling). The interdependent relationship between sleep and exercise cannot be overstated — excel in one and you’re certain to excel in the other. Keep the balance, and they will keep you. By sleeping long and exercising regularly, the flu won’t have a fighting chance.
Mind Your Hands
Take a moment to consider all of the public (and private) items your hands have graced in the past three hours and embrace the truth: your paws are a repository of infectious agents. But don’t be discouraged; regular washing with hot, soapy water can drastically cut down on their accumulation. And more importantly, be mindful of which parts of the body you decide to touch, scratch, or rub. The eye may very well be the wind ow to the soul, but it is also the gateway for viral microbes.
– Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for Mybiosource.com and contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter @MaggieBiosource