Though temperatures have yet to dip in our neck of the woods (sunny Los Angeles), it’s never a bad idea to employ preventative methods to keep seasonal flu bugs at bay. Come the cold, it’ll be like the zombie apocalypse out there—and as on-the-go women about to enter the year’s busiest season, we refuse to fall prey to the contagion. As it’s not exactly fashion-forward to sport a surgical mask, we’ve put together a short list of practical steps you can take to avoid catching whatever the person who sneezed on you in the elevator has. Here, 5 easy ways you can stay healthy this season (no matter how many germs your co-worker/child/boyfriend/barista might be harboring).
Starve Your Sweet Tooth
Sugar weakens your immune system and causes inflammation. If you must indulge, try to stick to the natural sugars that come from foods like fruit and sweet veggies. (Note: This is just a good rule for overall health, any time of the year.)
Eat Garlic & Vitamin C-Rich Foods
Garlic kills bacteria in the body. And since raw garlic is best, we suggest taking out two birds with one stone by adding it to bone broth-based noodle soups, which are also amazing for fighting off infection. Vitamin C, meanwhile, is easy to source through leafy greens. Adding a daily dose of green juice with ginger and lemon to your diet when the people around you start getting sick isn't a bad idea.
Get Sleep & Exercise
Sometimes these two can be easier said than done, but they truly are the pillars of good health. Light exercise and adequate sleep both provide natural boosts to the immune system, so when cold and flu season hits, it’s more important than ever to make sure both remain a priority. If you can get your exercise outdoors, even better.
Take Probiotics & Vitamin D Supplements
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that good health starts in the gut. If you don’t already take a probiotic daily, this is a good time of year to think about incorporating them into your daily routine. Meanwhile, Vitamin D does a lot to support the immune system—Vitamin D supplements have been shown to reduce winter respiratory infections by up to 50%.