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Daphne Oz on How to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season


Updated July 10, 2013

Daphne Oz, co-host of The Chew, took time out of her schedule to talk to us about cold and flu season. She has partnered with Chase Freedom to share her tips on saving money, keeping your family healthy and how to get back on track when you get sick.

Note: Daphne Oz is a TV personality that has offered her opinions on how you can save money and stay healthy during cold and flu season but she is not a medical professional. The information provided here should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for the information you receive from your health care provider.

About Cold/Flu: The cold and flu aisle in the pharmacy can be an overwhelming and expensive place. What tips do you have for figuring out what to get, and what to skip, when it comes to stocking the medicine cabinet or treating a cold?

Daphne Oz: One of the best ways to avoid spending too much money at the pharmacy is to come prepared with a list of what you need. It can also help to know which products are eligible for coupons and rewards, especially since most drug stores offer programs that allow you to earn savings on everyday purchases you would be buying anyway.

About Cold/Flu: Other than obvious tips like washing your hands frequently and avoiding people who are sick, what can people do to stay healthy for the rest of cold and flu season?

Daphne Oz: Start out by indulging in the right foods. Seek out those that are rich in Vitamins C and D, such as citrus fruits and veggies like kale, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes and spinach. Energy-rich whole grains, along with probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, can also help protect against the flu from the inside out by giving your immune system the boost it needs to keep you running strong all season long.

About Cold/Flu: What can parents do to keep their kids healthy at home and at school?

Daphne Oz: Kids can catch and spread germs very quickly. As a first step, parents should help their children develop a routine that involves regular hand-washing to help limit cross-contamination. Although regular exposure to low-grade germs is increasingly being seen to help your child develop a robust immune system (think of these germs as training ground for nastier bugs), you do want to regularly wipe down frequently-touched surfaces with a non-toxic antibacterial wipe, and encourage your child’s school to do the same. Safe disinfecting sprays are easily found at local drugstores.

Finally, hydration is just as important for kids as it is for adults, so make sure to get your children in the habit of drinking a sufficient amount of pure water from an early age. Since sugar can deplete the immune system, teach your kids to reach for water whenever they’re thirsty, and save sweeter drinks for special occasions.

About Cold/Flu: Do you have any tips for avoiding the flu or recovering quickly for those who do get it?

Daphne Oz: Washing hands remains the key to avoiding and getting rid of germs. The World Health Organization points out that washing your hands often makes you 24 percent less likely to catch a respiratory illness.

But once you’ve caught the flu, there are a couple of simple but very important things you can do to speed up recovery:

  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated — eight glasses of water and/or juice per day is recommended by the American Lung Association.
  • Avoid coffee, tea or cola drinks that contain caffeine, along with alcohol, all of which lead to dehydration.
  • Get as much rest/sleep as you can to allow your immune system to recuperate and help you heal.

Your ability to avoid flu and cold depends on your ongoing efforts to eat nutritiously, stay hydrated, rest, and strengthen your immune system naturally. So, these ideas are more than just remedies: they are lifestyle tips that will help you stay healthy so you can skip being sick.

About Cold/Flu: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers about staying healthy?

Daphne Oz: Small steps toward healthy living, such as weeding out junk food and staying physically active, go a long way. Swap out processed junk foods that with healthy and high-energy snacks such as nuts and pre-cut veggies and fruit, which are available at most local drugstores. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats and hunger-fighting protein, plus they can help lower bad cholesterol. Additionally, exercise offers a powerful boost to your immune system, improving overall health by strengthening your heart, relieving stress, enhancing circulation, and eliminating toxins through perspiration.

Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean anything drastic: simple changes to your routine, such as cutting down on sugary treats, upping your Vitamin C and Vitamin D, or breaking a sweat a few days a week, will bring on great results like better sleep, more energy and lower stress — not to mention a happier, healthier you overall! Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and work up from there. It’s never too late to evaluate your current health, identify areas for improvement, and set yourself up for success with a balanced and easy, healthy lifestyle.

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