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Woman With FluThe best way to fight off the flu is by getting a flu vaccine shot and washing your hands frequently. People who are in frequent contact with kids may also want to use hand sanitizers. Most health insurance policies provide coverage for the flu vaccine.

The two ways above are not the only ways to fight off the flu; there are many more ways to beat back the debilitating ailment. Also, there is no sure way to prevent the flu, but the flu shot may minimize symptoms and help you heal faster.

Beyond the flu vaccine, here are some other ways to fight the flu and avoid having to take that trip to the doctor.

Suggestions for Fighting the Flu and Colds

Have protein at every meal. Foods rich in protein include lean meats, fish, beans and poultry. Protein helps nourish your immune system and manufactures antibodies that fight flu and colds. In addition, protein-rich foods are loaded with zinc. Zinc is a factor in white-blood-cell manufacturing, which is also an integral part of your immune system.

Exercise or meditate daily. You can even switch off alternating one day for exercising and the next for meditation. Both seem to bolster your immune system, but surprisingly, meditation can be more effective than exercise in preventing the flu. Why is that? Both activities reduce stress, which can have a positive effect on your immune system.

Gargling with salt water is known to be therapeutic when you have a sore throat. But, researchers followed 400 people in Japan that were healthy and gargled daily. Of the 400 people, those who gargled regularly lowered their odds of a respiratory illness by 40 percent.

Get a good night's sleep to keep the influenza virus at bay. Folks who usually get less than seven hours of restorative sleep triple their chances of contracting the flu. If you get too little sleep, your body is apt to make cytokines — proteins that trigger cold symptoms when you are ill.

Colorful fruits and vegetables contain immune-boosting antioxidants. Feast on a rainbow of flavors, including red beans and colored berries.

If you come down with a cold or the flu, there is little a doctor can do to offer relief. There are some anti-viral medications that may soothe your symptoms and shorten the length of your illness. However, they must be administered within a short time after you have developed symptoms to be effective. Of course, if you have other chronic healthcare needs, check with your doctor to see if he or she wants to see you.

Keep your family healthy this season. Call First Insurance Group at (800) 511-2892 for more information on Kentucky health insurance.
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