Reducing the risk of Getting Sick

This is the season for cold and sicknesses. Nobody wants to get sick, especially when the weather is cold, and everybody else around you seems to be coughing and sneezing. There are however a few things you can do to prevent getting sick.

The first is to stay clean and prevent germs from spreading. Wash your hands(especially before you eat), don’t touch public door handles(use your sleeve), and always cover your cough in your arm (not your hands, because you touch everything and that’s how germs are spread.) Make sure to keep your computer and work space clean, because you use those quite a bit. Also try to wipe down your cellphone or other things you may use in public often. Our cell phones have been rated the #1 germiest item we use.

hand-washingThe second thing you can do to reduce the risk of getting sick is to boost your immune system! And trust me, it’s not as hard as it sounds. You can do this simply by the foods that you eat. Try to incorporate many antioxidants into your diet. Antioxidants are substances that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules, and protect the body from free radicals.(free radicals damage cells through oxidation and can lead to several chronic illnesses) Here are a list of vitamins you should be getting and the foods that they can be found in.

veg-fruit-nuts

  1. Beta-carotene. It is an antioxidant that has been proven to cause a lower risk of developing cancer or heart disease in people who consume at least 4 servings of colourful fruits and vegetables a day. Beta-carotene can be found in apricots, carrots, green peppers, kale, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, beets, asparagus, tomatoes, pumpkin, and watermelon.
  2. Vitamin C. If you have ever been feeling under the weather, I’m sure someone has told you to drink orange juice or eat an orange. This is because vitamin C is a great antioxidant and works amazing wonders for the body. Vitamin C assists several enzymes in performing their jobs, maintains protein collagen, which forms the scar tissue that heals wounds, and protects substances from oxidation. It also fights off bacteria and other invaders trying to enter the body. It has also been proven that people who consume vitamin C when sick can reduce the time that they are sick, and their overall symptoms. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, of course, but also kale, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes.
  3. Vitamin E: It flows throughout the body preventing oxidative destruction of tissues, and is a great anti-oxidant because it serves as the bodies main defenders against oxidative damage. Vitamin E can be found in all berries, nuts, raisins, apples, prunes, plums, beans, red grapes, and alfalfa sprouts!

Of course another thing people often get sick from is stress. The only advice I have for you there is: if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try to relax and distress yourself. We as humans have tons of things in our lives that make us stressed and anxious whether it be school, family/friend issues, or work, but we need to learn to deal and cope with these things. Trying yoga and meditation can help relieve stress. For more information on stress, you can visit this link: http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/relieve.html

yoga-anonymous-greenAs long as you do those three things (keep clean, boost your immune, relieve stress) you can bring the overall risk down of getting sick.

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