Preventing Viral Illnesses

Preventing Viral Illnesses

There are so many viruses in the world today that you cannot even tell which one you might catch. Air travel has the best virus delivery. People traveling from country to country can spread bacteria and viruses if they don't take precautions.

Sometimes, people are asymptomatic (they don't show any noticeable signs); therefore, they don't consider that preventing measures are necessary. With the outburst of new viruses nowadays, we have to consider boosting our immune system, improving our hygiene, and developing a healthier lifestyle. All these are crucial to avoid catching a virus that might even put our lives in danger.

The upcoming slides provide more details on three ways to prevent catching a viral illness.



Eat for a Stronger Immune System

Making a change in your diet might be the only thing you need to do.

Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C and zinc. These two have an immune-enhancing role and can reduce the severity, risk, and duration of infectious diseases.

Foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, spinach, bell peppers, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables.

Foods containing zinc include meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy, and eggs. [1] [2]

Make sure you also take vitamin D supplements if you aren't getting enough from your diet (foods high in vitamin D: fatty fish, eggs, cheese, fortified foods).

Not having enough vitamin D predisposes your body to infection. It plays a crucial role in the modulation of the immune responses. [3



Practice Proper Hygiene

Washing your hands is the most effective way to get rid of germs. Using hand sanitizers and other anti-bacterial products is also helpful, but some viruses are resistant to them, especially if they aren't of high quality.  

Washing your clothes, your body, and your hair regularly is equally important. It keeps your environment free of germs and viruses. Moreover, regardless of the cause, cover your mouth after coughing or sneezing. It will help prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. [4]



Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is essential for a healthy immune system, which gives your body the ability to fight and defeat invading pathogens. Removing bad habits could improve your immunity significantly. Here are some things that affect your body's defense mechanism: 

smoking, not drinking enough water, having a sedentary lifestyle, eating food low in antioxidants, being overweight, staying up late and not getting enough sleep, and drinking moderate to high quantities of alcohol.[5


Another factor that contributes to a healthy lifestyle is a low level of stress. If you cannot avoid highly stressful situations, practice relaxation techniques afterward. Besides, exercise regularly to eliminate stress and stimulate cognitive functioning. [6][7]