Ways to avoid the flu
BY SUZY COHEN Dear Pharmacist
Saturday, January 19, 2013
1/31/13 at 3:08 PM
Dear Pharmacist, What are some suggestions to avoid catching cold this season? - R.P. Albany, N.Y.
Health experts will tell you the obvious, get enough rest, drink plenty of water, take cough drops, take vitamin C and sip chicken broth.
Job one is to wash your hands frequently. Keep them away from your face, and don't use them to cover a sneeze or a cough. Instead, use a tissue and then throw it out. No tissue? Use the crook of your elbow to cover your nose or mouth.
Vitamin C - I mentioned this earlier because it is used commonly to prevent cold and alleviate certain symptoms, particularly those involving mucous membranes. It improves your white blood cell count and assists your body in making glutathione, a very strong antioxidant.
Probiotics - The only way for you to have a strong immune system is to build one. Clinical science proves a healthy gut barrier protects your body from pathogenic invaders, and revs immune function.
Mushrooms, the medicinal sort - Look for maitake extract at the health food store, or beta-glucan. These mushrooms provide compounds to your body that fight germs.
Vitamin A. It keeps your mucous membranes wet and strong, which helps soothe your nose, mouth and throat. When the delicate membranes are functioning properly, they will trap particles and pathogens before they enter the body.
Vitamin D. It's great for most immune disorders because it enhances your T cells and helps you keep all sorts of bugs at bay. Usually, doctors suggest about 5,000 to 10,000 IU during the winter months, but it depends on your serum levels. Ask your physician.
Zinc. This mineral reduces the duration of illness and severity of symptoms. The trick is to start zinc at the very first sneeze. Luckily for you, zinc is found in nuts, dark chocolate and seafood, so you can eat your way to better levels.
Certain spices like thyme, garlic and saffron These possesses anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral compounds, making them strong medicine in my kitchen.
Original Print Headline: Vitamins, minerals and hand-washing will help keep cold at bay