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Health Tips

With the flu season approaching I wanted to give you SEVEN simple tips on how the avoid getting the flu. 

1)         Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides a bit of extra protection.

Be sure you don’t use antibacterial soap for this--antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. I will discuss that topic more next time.

Instead of antibacterial soap, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to. Local health food stores typically carry a variety of natural soaps.

Following up from the last tip where I promised to tell you about antibacterial soap. 

2)         Don't Use Antibacterial Soap

Somewhere along the way the public began to believe that regular soap wasn't good enough--they needed antibacterial soap. Well, antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good.

Triclosan, an antibacterial compound that acts as the active ingredient in most antibacterial soap, not only kills bacteria, it also has been shown to kill human cells (Eur J Oral Sci 1998 Apr;106:628-36). Antibacterial compounds are in nearly half of all soaps sold in the United States, which is likely contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Many traditional medical circles now accept the hygiene hypothesis, which centers on the idea that children need to be exposed to some bacteria in early childhood in order to strengthen their immune systems. Children who are not exposed to common bacteria, which are wiped out by antibacterial soap, may be more prone to allergies and asthma.

This is not to say that you shouldn't wash your hands, only that you shouldn't wash them with antibacterial soap. It would be wise to identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to. Local health food stores typically carry a variety of natural soaps.

This tip is probably one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health. 

3)         Avoid Sugar

Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness, including the flu. It is especially imperative to avoid sugar if you feel you are coming down with something, but keeping sugar out of your diet for the long haul will do wonders for your health and make your body stronger, which will make it harder for the flu to bother you.

Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect like ketchup and fruit juice. For all the steps to building your immune system to its peak levels, which is by far the most effective way to avoid the flu (and chronic disease), call me.

This tip has many benefits besides fighting the flu. 

4)         Get Enough Rest

Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Regular rest will keep you strong and ensure that your body has the strength to fight off any potential invaders. Sleep can also help prevent against cancer.

This tip is a great boost for the immune system. 

5)         Eat Garlic Regularly

Garlic is a triple-whammy: it’s antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. Garlic is one food that you should be eating every day.

It is important to note that the garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits. The active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless and should not be used. That also goes for the odorless garlic pills, they are basically worthless.  Don’t waste your money on them.

When you use the garlic, compress it with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice. If you swallow the clove intact you will not convert the active ingredient, allicin, to its active form.

One problem with garlic, of course, is the smell, but generally a few cloves a day are tolerated by most people. If you develop a socially offensive odor then all you need to do is slightly decrease the amount of garlic you’re consuming until there is no odor present. Garlic is an herb, however, so if you do not like it or it makes you feel sick, this is your body's way of telling you that you should avoid it.
Easier said than done but still very important.  This one you should be check to see how your body is being affected and handling stress. 

6)         Don’t Let Stress Become Overwhelming

We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. It has been estimated that up to 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related.

There are simple checks to see if stress is adversely affecting your body and your potential health.  Call us to set up a free stress check up to see how you are doing.  The stress check up is quick and painless.  All we need is 5 minutes.

We all are aware of the importance of this tip on our health.  The key is doing it.

7)         Exercise

When you exercise you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it has a chance to spread. In a sense, exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in weeding out and acting upon viruses and diseases. If you would like a report on exercise guidelines along with some great tips to get started, let me know and I can send them to you.

If you have questions or comments, please email us at or call at 801-444-1002.  We would love to here from you.  If I can be of assistances to you, a family member or friend please let me know.  I am always willing to answer questions and help.

Dr. Johnson