7 Tricks You Haven’t Heard Of To Prevent Colds & Flu

Dec 12, 2012 -- 4:10pm

7 Tricks You Haven’t Heard Of To Prevent Colds & Flu from ivillage.com

Wash Your Hands -- Up To Your Elbows Yes, we said elbows. While regular hand washing is one of the top tips to avoid getting sick in cold and flu season, scrubbing all the way up to your elbows could be even more effective.

Dry Your Hands on Paper (Not Cloth) Towels What you dry your hands with is just as important as washing them. Reusing the same cloth towel can spread even more germs.

Use Soup Bones We always wondered why chicken soup was so good for colds, and it seems that the chicken bones could hold at least a part of the answer. Depending on your diet, try and incorporate bone marrow into your soups and stews by adding organic, free-range bones into the broth. Marrow is the root of blood and yin in Chinese Medicine and keeps the body healthy and strong during the winter season.

Take a Daily Dose of Elderberry Syrup This antioxidant and vitamin-rich dark berry could help you ward off illness. Researchers at the University of Giessen in Germany found that liquid elderberry extract was strong enough to destroy disease-causing bacteria and flu viruses.

Get Outside It may seem counterintuitive that spending time outdoors can prevent colds, but it may be the key to staying healthy in the winter. You’ll minimize your exposure to viruses that may be cooped up indoors, and you'll stay fit while getting some fresh air.

Trim Long Nails Having long, manicured nails may look pretty, but they can be a breeding ground for germs. When researchers at the University of Michigan examined the nails of health care workers, they found that the ladies with long nails (3 millimeters past the tip) had illness-causing bacteria under their nails, while only 18 percent of those with short nails did.

Get Some Sea Buckthorn You probably haven’t heard of Sea Buckhorn, but it just may be your immune system’s secret weapon this winter. For thousands of years, people in the Far East, India and Russia used this powerful adaptogenic botanical to increase the body's resistance to stress trauma and fatigue while promoting heart liver and the immune system. Full of essential fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins and minerals, studies in Russia found that Sea Buckthorn oil inhibits a variety of illness-inducing bacteria, including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Typhoid bacillus, E.coli, and Bacillus dysenteriae.

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