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When everyone around you at work is getting sick, there are some simple things you can do to boost your immune system and protect yourself. You don't have to be the person who catches everything that goes around any more! Common sense self-care, good hygiene, and a little herbal know-how will go a long way to help keep you and your family safe and healthy during cold and flu season.
Focus On Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Consume foods that contain lots of antioxidants to protect your cells and prevent disease.
Your best source of antioxidants are going to come from your diet. Fruits and vegetables with deep rich colors are the healthiest. Deep dark leafy greens, beets, red cabbage, and sweet potatoes, blueberries, and dark grapes are all great examples of antioxidant-rich foods which fight inflammation and nourish your cells which fight off infection and disease.
Try our Ultimate Immunity Punch Recipe for a huge immunity-punch with every sip!
Drink Tea, Like A Lot Of It...
Drink as much green tea as you can. Teas are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids that can help boost your immune system and keep you radiant and healthy. Oolong, white tea, and caffeine-free rooibos are all rich in these antioxidants, but green tea seems to come out the winner! Green tea has a special antioxidant called EGCG which has been shown to enhance immune function.
By drinking so much tea, you'll also be super hydrated, allowing your body to fight off any sickness that comes your way!
Add Adaptogen Herbs To Your Daily Routine
These herbs in the adaptogen category build up your immune system, when used regularly. Add these herbs to your smoothies, or stir into a little almond milk or hot water and drink daily while you're healthy. If you get sick, stop taking them, and don't resume until you're back in the swing of things again.
Try To Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, but do everything you can to reduce stress.
Stress is damaging to your immune system, so make extra efforts to cultivate calm and mindfulness. Download a meditation app, and practice deep, slow breathing regularly. Instead of soda, drink relaxing teas like Daily Calm, Lush Lavender, or simply enjoy a cup of chamomile tea.
Use An Essential Oil Diffuser
If you can use one at work...
An essential oil diffuser will benefit everyone in your office. Certain essential oils are powerful germ killers, plus they smell pretty awesome and will give you a positive boost to your mood while disinfecting the atmosphere. You can use individual essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, sweet orange, lemon, rosemary, and tea tree, or you can create your own blend. Another option is to purchase a powerful essential oil blend called 4 Thieves, a potent combination of oils based on an old European recipe used during the Middle Ages.
If you can't use one in your workplace, make your own essential oil "inhaler."
A simple wellness hack is to sprinkle a few drops of 4 Thieves essential oil, or a combination of peppermint and eucalyptus onto a paper towel or cotton hankie, hold it up to your nose, and breathe deeply. This will help open your sinuses if you're feeling the sniffles coming on. It will also help kill any germs that might have gotten into your nasal passages.
Safety note: if you are pregnant or have highly sensitive skin, consult with your health care provider before using essential oils.
Try Immunity Boosting Herbs
Looks for teas with ingredients like Elderberries, Rose Hips, Ginger, Echinacea Root and Licorice Root. Packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich compounds, they might help boost your immune system and promote healthier resistance to the colds and flus going around.
Here's more information on immune-boosting herbs.
Bring Snacks Rich In Vitamin C
Eating foods rich in Vitamin C will help boost immune function on the cellular level. As a result, it can help reduce oxidative stress and support your white blood cells in functioning more effectively.
The classic foods high in Vitamin C are citrus fruits, like orange, lemon, grapefruit, clementine, etc.), but there are some other awesome Vitamin C rich foods, like kiwis, berries, bell peppers, and cruciferous vegetables. Eat a variety and try to get at least 2 servings each day.
Wash your hands!
This is the simplest of all the tips, but so many people forget this critical piece of prevention, or they do it haphazardly and it isn't effective. Here's the deal. Wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds. Either count it out in your head (a thousand one, a thousand two, and so on) or sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice, from start to finish. After you wash your hands, use a paper towel to touch the door handle. And, hardest thing of all, try to avoid touching your face. Handshakes, doorknobs, keyboards, and elevator buttons are all potential petrie dishes full of who knows what, so try to be mindful before scratching your nose or rubbing your eyes.
If you do end up getting sick...
Go home, and stay home until you're better. Drink lots of Elderberry Tonic tea and get as much sleep as you can.
*This information has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to diagnose or cure a medical issue, or replace professional medical care. If you are pregnant or nursing, are under the care of a physician, or on prescription medication, talk to your health care provider before making any changes to your diet or routine.