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The Secrets to Never Getting Sick

  • Keep Your Immune System Strong

    Keep Your Immune System Strong

    Most secrets to good health are not secrets at all, but common
    sense. For example, you should avoid contact with bacteria and viruses at
    school and work. However, a whole host of other feel-good solutions can help you
    live a healthier life—whether you’re 16 or 106.

    Click “next” to learn these important tips. 

  • Go Green

    Go Green

    Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins that help you maintain
    a balanced diet—and support a healthy immune system. According to a study of
    mice described in the journal Cell,
    eating cruciferous vegetables sends a chemical signal to the body that boosts
    specific cell-surface proteins necessary for efficient immune-system function.
    In this study, healthy mice deprived of green vegetables lost 70 to 80 percent
    of cell-surface proteins (Li, et al., 2011).

  • Vitamin D

    Vitamin D

    Reports indicate that many Americans fall short of their
    vitamin D daily requirements. Deficiencies in vitamin D may lead to poor bone
    growth, cardiovascular problems, and a weak immune system. 

    Results from a 2012 study in Pediatrics suggest that all children should be checked for adequate
    vitamin level. However, this is especially true for those with dark skin tones,
    who do not get vitamin D as easily from exposure to sunlight. In the study,
    children with vitamin D deficiencies were more susceptible to respiratory
    infections. Breast-fed children are especially at risk because they are less
    likely to drink milk fortified with vitamin D (Camargo,
    et al., 2012).

  • Keep Moving

    Keep Moving

    Staying active by following a regular exercise routine—such
    as walking three times a week—does more than keep you fit and trim. According
    to a study published in the medical journal Neurologic
    Clinicians
    , regular exercise also:

    • keeps inflammation and chronic disease at bay
    • reduces stress (and the release of
      stress-related hormones)
    • accelerates the circulation of disease-fighting
      white blood cells to better enable the body to fight the common cold (Woods, et al., 2006)
  • Stay in Bed

    Stay in Bed

    Getting adequate sleep is extremely important if you’ve been
    exposed to a virus, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Healthy adult participants who slept
    a minimum of eight hours each night over a two-week period showed a greater
    resistance to the virus. Those who slept seven hours or less each night were
    about three percent more likely to develop the virus after exposure.

    One reason may be that the body releases cytokines during
    extended periods of sleep. Cytokines
    are proteins that help the body fight infection by regulating the immune system
    (Cohen,
    et al., 2009).

  • Skip the Alcohol

    Skip the Alcohol

    New research shows that drinking alcohol can damage the
    body’s dendritic cells, a vital
    component of the immune system. An increase in alcohol consumption over time
    can increase a person’s exposure to bacterial and viral infections. 

    A recent study in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology compared the dendritic cells and
    immune system responses in alcohol-fed mice to those who had not been supplied
    alcohol. Alcohol suppressed the immunity in mice to varying degrees. Physicians
    say the study helps explain why vaccines are less effective for alcoholics (Ekan, et al., 2011).

  • Calm Down

    Calm Down

    For years, doctors suspected there was a connection between
    chronic mental stress and physical illness. However, they did not have clear
    evidence linking the two conditions. Finding an effective way to regulate
    personal stress, such as practicing yoga or meditation, may go a long way
    toward better overall health, suggests a 2012 study published by the National
    Academy of Science.  

    Cortisol helps
    the body fight inflammation and disease. The constant release of the hormone in
    people who are chronically stressed lessens its overall effectiveness. This can
    result in increased inflammation, disease, and decreased immunity (Cohen, et al., 2012).

  • Drink Green Tea

    Drink Green Tea

    For centuries, green tea has been associated with good
    health. Green tea’s health benefits may be due to its high level of
    antioxidants, called flavonoids.

    According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,
    several fresh-brewed cups a day can lead to potential health benefits. These
    include lower blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (Cabrera, et al., 2006).

  • Add Color to Meals

    Add Color to Meals

    Do you have trouble remembering to eat your fruits and
    vegetables at every meal? Cooking with all colors of the rainbow will help you
    get a wide range of vitamins, such as vitamin C.

    While there is no evidence that vitamin C can reduce the
    severity or length of illness, research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that it may help the
    immune system ward off colds and flus, especially in those who are stressed (Saszuki, et al., 2006).

  • Be Social

    Be Social

    Physicians have long seen a connection between chronic
    disease and loneliness, especially in patients recovering from heart surgery.
    Some health authorities even consider social isolation a risk factor for
    chronic diseases. Research published by the American Psychological Association
    (APA) suggests that social isolation may increase stress, which slows the
    body’s immune response and ability to heal quickly. In the study, male rats
    were slightly more susceptible to damage from social isolation than females (APA,
    2006).

  • Get a Flu Vaccine

    Get a Flu Vaccine

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    recommends that all individuals over six months of age get a yearly flu
    vaccine. Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatrician and expert in infectious diseases in
    Cleveland, Ohio, seconds that advice. However, exceptions should be made for people
    who have severe allergies (like hives or anaphylaxis) to chicken eggs, and/or
    anyone who has had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination (like
    Guillain-Barre Syndrome) (CDC,
    2012).”

  • Wash Regularly

    Wash Regularly

    Infectious disease expert, Dr. Frank Esper, advises limiting
    your exposure to illness by avoiding germs. Shower daily and wash your hands
    before:

    • eating
    • preparing food
    • inserting contact lenses
    • any other activity that brings you in contact
      with the eyes or mouth

    Wash your hands for 20 seconds and scrub under your fingernails.
    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Carry an
    alcohol-based hand cleaner for on-the-go use. Disinfect shared surfaces, such
    as keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, and remote controls. 

  • Keep It Personal

    Keep It Personal

    Influenza viruses can generally survive on surfaces from two
    to twenty-four hours, according to infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper.
    That leaves plenty of time for germs
    to spread among family members. Just one sick child can pass an illness to an
    entire family in the right setting. 

    To avoid sharing germs, keep personal items such as toothbrushes,
    towels, utensils, and drinking glasses separate. Wash contaminated
    items—especially toys that are shared—in hot, soapy water. When in doubt, opt
    for disposal drinking cups, utensils, and towels.  

  • Remain Vigilant

    Remain Vigilant

    Staying healthy is more than just practicing a few good techniques when you don’t feel well. It involves regular exercise, plenty of healthy foods, and staying hydrated throughout the day. 

    Your body works hard to keep you moving and active, so make sure to give it the food it needs to remain in tip-top shape. To learn more about how to get the most out of your food, check out these other slideshows we’ve put together for you:

    • Foods That Boost the Immune System
    • Foods That Help Your Body Heal
    • Foods That Reduce Inflammation

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Posted by: Dr.Health

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