1. Wash your hands frequently to keep cold and flu germs from spreading.
Make it a habit before eating, after using the restroom and if you come in contact with a sick person or something he or she has touched. Teach your children to avoid spreading cold and flu viruses by coughing into the crux of their elbows, instead of into their hands.
2. Disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home.
From the faucet to the doorknob to the football your kids toss around, the surfaces they touch are often breeding grounds for colds and flu germ. One of the most important ways to protect your family and stop viruses dead in their tracks is to disinfect commonly touched surfaces with a disinfectant spray or wipe.
3. Exercise and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.
An easy way to defend your family members from colds and flu is to feed them immune boosting foods that help the body fight off viruses. Be sure to include fish, citrus fruits and leafy greens.
4. Stock up on illness prevention supplies.
Plan in advance to prevent illness by stocking up on disinfectants, soap, and vitamins and keeping them in one handy place.
5. Talk to your doctor before your family gets sick.
He or she can advise you whether to get a flu shot and which over-the-counter medicines to have on-hand should someone start to feel sick.
Food for Prevention
Researchers are finding positive links between immune function and components in food. If you or your kids seem to get one cold after another, you’ll want to make sure they eat plenty of immune-building foods.
Garlic boosts your immune system, increasing resistance to infection and stress. To get the immune power from garlic, crush the cloves with the flat side of a knife before adding them to your food. This releases the garlic juice, which has great immune properties.
Cheese and other dairy products contain conjugated linoleic acid, a natural component of dairy fat that have boosted immune response in animal studies. Probiotics, which are found in yogurt, may also strengthen the immune system.
Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and juices, vitamin C also helps the body’s immune system.
Zinc, found in meat, chicken, peanuts and peanut butter. Zinc plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system in the body.
Foods that Heal
Fresh ginger root can help you when you are sick by inducing sweating and decreasing nausea and diarrhea. Make ginger tea by grating one ounce of fresh ginger in a pint of water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lemon and honey to taste.
Chicken soup and warm beverages increase the flow of nasal secretions, helping alleviate cold symptoms. Of course, the taste and wonderful aroma of chicken soup may be an important part of the beneficial effects.