6 Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu SeasonPublished Date:
There are plenty of reasons to love fall and winter, but flu season isn’t one of them. Luckily, we’ve got some great tips for staying healthy during flu season. Along with regular exercise and a balanced diet, these tips can help your general health and wellness.
In the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year often brings higher cases of colds, flus, and other illnesses. As the days get shorter and colder, we spend more time indoors where we’re more likely to be exposed to colds, flus, and other viruses. The air also becomes dryer, and the low humidity can prolong the lifespan of certain viruses and illness-causing bacteria.
The tips below can help boost your overall health naturally and may reduce your risk of getting sick during flu season 2021.
Tip #1. Get More Sunshine
Try to spend a few minutes outside every day, even when it’s cold. Sunshine helps our bodies create vitamin D, which supports the immune system and helps fight off colds, flus, and other viruses. Consider going for a daily walk, a bike ride, or start a winter garden.
Sunlight also keeps our circadian rhythm in check. This is the “biological clock” that tells our bodies when to sleep and wake up, and helps regulate the hormones that trigger biological functions like hunger and digestion. By supporting your circadian rhythm with some sunshine, you’ll get better quality sleep and help manage stress.
Tip #2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Studies show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can strengthen the immune system naturally. Aim for 5 to 9 servings per day. Although this might sound like a lot, an average serving size is only half a cup or 8 ounces.
If you’re struggling to get enough produce in your diet, most recipes can be modified to include extra veggies or fruit. For example, try adding chopped kale to your favorite pasta sauce, or substitute cauliflower rice for white rice.
You can also get more fruits and veggies in your daily diet by drinking cold pressed juices like Little West, which have 2-4 pounds of raw produce per bottle.
Tip #3. Wash Your Hands (and Use Hand Sanitizer)
This tip for staying healthy during flu season is simple yet effective. Wash your hands! It may seem obvious, but many people forget about this health tip or take it for granted. When you wash your hands properly and use hand sanitizer, you remove and/or sterilize any flu viruses you may have picked up.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds before eating, drinking, or touching your face. It’s also a good idea to keep hand sanitizer around. We like to keep a small bottle in the car or in our bags. Use hand sanitizer after you’ve been in a store or touching objects, such as doorknobs, that may have been handled by a lot of people.
Tip #4. Get Better Quality Sleep
Did you know that poor sleep can actually lower your immune system? When we sleep, our bodies release proteins called cytokines that help fight colds and flus, and lower inflammation. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep may lower cytokine production. Poor sleep can also reduce antibodies if you’re fighting off an infection.
Most adults should aim for 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you have trouble getting good quality sleep, try cutting back on caffeine and limiting your screen time in the evenings. It can also help to spend more time outdoors during the day to help your circadian rhythm, as we discussed in Tip #1.
Tip #5. Stay Hydrated
During cooler weather, it can be easy to ignore “thirst signals” because we’re less likely to feel hot or get sweaty. But staying hydrated is very important for boosting your immunity during cold and flu season. Dehydration places our bodies under physiological stress, which can make us more susceptible to infections.
Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Cold pressed juice, herbal teas, and hot water with lemon are also great ways to stay hydrated during flu season.
Tip #6. Boost Your Gut Health
Gut health is very important for staying healthy during flu season. In fact, health experts estimate that 70% of our immune system is housed in our intestines! By consuming foods that promote a healthy gut and better digestion, we can strengthen our natural ability to fight colds, flus, and other viruses.
The best foods for gut health include probiotics like sauerkraut and yogurt, as well as fresh produce like beets, ginger, turmeric, and kale. Adding these ingredients to your diet can improve your digestion and your immune system.
Support Your Immune System with Cold Pressed Juice
For staying healthy during flu season 2021, stock up on cold pressed juices from Little West! Our Immunity Kit includes 6 of our top immunity boosting flavors. Order now and get a free Celery juice.