This season, at least 20 Nebraskans have died from influenza-related illnesses and many hundreds have gotten sick.
Nebraska Extension Educator LaDonna Werth says one of the keys to preventing the flu and other winter bugs is maintaining a healthy diet.
“It’s extremely important to eat correctly,” Werth says. “Also, think about the things we usually think about in the summer, such as getting plenty of liquids. The mucus in our nose is actually one of the key physical barriers that keep germs out of our body.”
Werth says adding more Vitamin C and zinc can help boost the body’s immune system and she suggests increasing your protein intake.
“Protein is a building block for healthy immune systems,” Werth says. “Choosing lean red meats, poultry, fish, dried beans and soy is an excellent source.”
Other tips to avoiding the flu include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton