Fighting the Flu

It’s about that time of year again, folks! It’s when you hear sniffles and coughs in the quiet library or during your midterm. The time of year when all you want to do is curl up in your bed with a hot drink and watch Netflix (okay maybe not the hot drink with this 20 degree weather). Catching a cold during the school year is bad news. It can make it harder to pay attention in class or study for your upcoming exams. I’m here to pass on some helpful tips to kick that cold to the curb.

A little recap to start:

The best way to prevent a cold or flu is to make your immune system strong. Here’s how:

#1: Wash your hands. Did you know the cold virus can live on surfaces for HOURS? I’m talking cell phones, door knobs, pens, you name it.

#2: Get enough sleep. If you sleep less than 7 hours regularly, you are putting yourself at risk of catching that cold! Aim for 8-9 hours every night. Start studying early so you don’t have to pull all-nighters, my friends.

#3: Load up on your fruits, veggies and protein. This means eat according to the healthy plate model that I talked about last month: ½ plate veggies, ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate starchy foods.

#4: Exercise regularly. This can also reduce your stress levels, which weakens your immune system.

If you’re already sick, here are the next steps:

  • Have a hot drink. This means hot water, tea, soups and broth which will help your sore throat.
  • Eat some chicken soup! Research has shown that it improves some of the common cold symptoms. Mom was right, I guess. Did you know Leonard dining hall serves chicken noodle at lunch and dinner every day? Try adding some extra veggies to boost the benefits.
  • Many studies suggest 2000mg Vitamin C per day may reduce the length of a cold. You can take a supplement, or just eat raw fruits and veggies that are loaded with it!