News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8 Ways to Avoid H1N1

With the spread of H1N1, many ideas have formed on ways to avoid the virus. This year’s flu season has been intense already, but there are some simple and logical ways to lessen the possibility of contracting H1N1 and other vicious illnesses.

1. Avoid Store Samples: Though they may be tempting, store samples are an easy place for germs and bacteria.

2. Avoid buffets and salad bars: Another common location for germs can be found in local buffets or salad bars, where the food is exposed to the open-air for an extended period of time.

3. Cook more – Cook more nutritiously! It is often difficult to cook when you are always on the go, but cooking your own food is more nutritious and less likely to be passed through a variety of people to get to your plate. Add garlic, chilies, and ginger to your entrees, as they have properties that aid circulation and respiratory health. Eat lean protein and good fats to boost immunity. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods that wear down the body.

4. Load up on Vitamin D – A good dose of vitamin D is essential to immunity, as it prevents the immune response from overreacting and reduces inflammation. Studies indicate that individuals with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to come down with the flu.

5. Antioxidants - Eat foods with antioxidant-rich properties, such as citrus, berries, and dark green vegetables. Supplement with vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene, as well as B vitamins to support your immune system.

6. Wash Hands - Common objects we touch easily spread germs, like money, shopping carts, door handles, shaking hands, etc. Use warm water and soap for 15 to 20 seconds to disinfect the skin. You can also carry hand sanitizer to kill germs.

7. More Sleep & Less Stress: The body needs rest and relaxation to function optimally. Adequate sleep can help you manage stress and aid the proper function of your nervous system, whereas sleep deprivation can have very negative effects on the immune system.

8. Avoid those that are sick - An airborne virus can be caught in less than 6 to 10 feet. Don’t lock yourself up in your house until spring, but if you are around people that are coughing or sneezing, stay more at bay.

1. Gombart A. (2009 August 8). Key feature of immune system survived in humans, other primates for 60 million years. Retrieved on October 15, 2009 from

2. Willingham, V. (2009, Oct. 12). To fight flu, arm your immune system with diet, rest. Retrieved on October 15, 2009 from

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