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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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It’s Not Too Late to Fight the Flu!

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Flu shotEveryone knows that when the weather starts to turn cold after those warm summer months, it means flu season is upon us. No one likes to be away from work or laid up in bed all day, but about 10-20% of Americans get the flu each year. Influenza (aka “the flu”) is a viral infection in the nose, throat, and lungs that may cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches, and tiredness.

There are no known cures for colds or the flu, so prevention should be your biggest goal. Being proactive is the best way to keep yourself and your family healthy. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from catching the flu this year.

Get a flu shot

The most effective way for preventing the flu is by getting a flu shot. It may not be natural but it works better than anything else. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you get the influenza vaccination as soon as flu season begins which is often unpredictable but can occur as early as October and as late as May. Even if you have not received your flu vaccine this year, it is not too late and flu season isn’t over yet! Last year the flu peaked in February. If you are unsure where you can get vaccinated, you can find out with the flu vaccine finder.

Wash your hands

Most flu viruses are spread by direct contact. People touch surfaces all the time without washing their hands and germs can live for weeks on door handles, telephones, keyboards, etc. Be sure you always keep alcohol based hand sanitizer with you in case there is not a sink around to prevent yourself from picking up unwanted germs.

Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow

Germs not only cling to surfaces, but they also cling to bare hands. When you sneeze be sure to sneeze into a tissue or your elbow to prevent transferring your germs to the next person that comes in contact with you or has to shake your hand.

Stay hydrated

Water flushes toxins out of your system while keeping you hydrated. In order to make sure you are hydrated, monitor the color of your urine making sure it is as close to clear as possible.

Eat your fruits and vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables daily is a great immune system booster. The antioxidants and phytochemicals will help provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. It is known that if your body is deficient in something, you are more prone to infection!

For more information on the treatment and prevention of the flu go to the CDC free resources page.

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Tags: Quick and Healthy

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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