14 research-proven ways to eat, drink, and even party to boost your immunity
Winter bugs don't just make you feel miserable. Sick days create havoc at
home and work. And those days can become weeks if a cold morphs into something
more serious — a sinus or ear infection, or bronchitis. Flu can lead to
pneumonia or worse, sometimes sending you to the hospital. And while
antibiotics fight many of these secondary infections, there's no cure for the
Often, especially during cold and flu (influenza) season, can reduce your risk of catching or
spreading a cold or the flu.
Before and after preparing or serving
food reduces your risk of catching or spreading bacteria that cause food
poisoning. Be especially careful to wash before and after preparing poultry,
raw eggs, meat, or seafood.
After going to the bathroom or changing
diapers reduces your risk of catching or spreading infectious diseases such as
Wash your hands after:
Touching parts of your body that are not clean.
Coughing, sneezing, or using a handkerchief or disposable
Eating, drinking, or using tobacco (for example,
Handling soiled kitchen utensils or
Handling other soiled or contaminated utensils or
Handling or preparing foods, especially after touching
raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or eggs.
handling garbage, using the phone, shaking hands, or playing with pets.
The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommend the following steps for hand-washing:
Wash your hands with running water and
Rub your hands
together for at least 20 seconds.
Pay special attention to your
wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your
Leave the water running while you dry your hands on a
Use the paper towel as a barrier between the faucet
and your clean hands when you turn off the water.
If soap and water are not available, use
gel hand sanitizers or alcohol-based hand wipes
containing 60% to 90% ethyl alcohol or isopropanol. Most supermarkets and
drugstores carry these products. Carry one or both with you when you travel,
and keep them in your car or purse.
If using the gel sanitizer,
rub your hands until the gel is dry. You don't need to use water. The alcohol
in the gel kills the germs on your hands.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
David Messenger, MD
December 21, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 21, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this