Shelly Lummus, MemorialCare

Shelly Lummus, FNP-C
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, MemorialCare HealthExpress

Winter season is just around the corner which means people will be spending more time indoors and in closer contact with other people who can pass along their germs. To stay healthy and avoid possible viruses and infections this cold and flu season it’s important to maintain a strong, balanced immune system and give your body a fighting chance.

Here are three ways to give your immune system a boost:

1. Relax and Get Some Sleep.
Avoid added stress — chronic stress negatively impacts the human immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness. The Holiday season can bring added stress for many of us. Try incorporating mental relaxation exercises, listening to relaxing music, meditation, and breathing exercises. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Be sure you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep which gives your body an opportunity to rejuvenate and regain strength. You’ll increase your risk of illness if you’re tired and fatigued.

2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Boost your body from the inside out by incorporating healthy foods into your diet which help your immune system function at its best. Try to avoid fried foods, soda, processed meats and artificial sweeteners all of which can suppress your immune system. Skip the high salt meals which can cause dehydration and make you feel fatigued. Plan to eat a balanced diet with whole foods like quality proteins, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables which are antioxidant rich foods as well as a great source of vitamin C all of which can help support a strong immune system.

3. Stay Hydrated
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, cold or warm, and add a slice of lemon for some extra vitamin C. Drinking water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, protects organs and tissues and removes toxins. Stay hydrated all day by taking a reusable water bottle with you and refilling it throughout the day.

Take Time to Get Your Flu Shot.
Remember, the CDC recommends an annual flu shot as the first, and most important, step in protecting against getting the flu.

About MemorialCare HealthExpress
Trust MemorialCare HealthExpress to keep you healthy and care for you when you’re not — all in the convenience of your local Albertsons store off Muirlands Blvd and La Paz in Mission Viejo. Flu shots are available now and we specialize in providing exceptional cold and flu care for busy families on the go. Walk into a MemorialCare HealthExpress clinic to receive convenient, non-urgent health care for you and your family – no appointment necessary. Most insurance plans accepted as well as affordable self-pay options.

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