How To Avoid The Cold And Flu

INSIDE EDITION has some helpful tips and household items that can help fight the flu and possibly even beat a cold this season.

A doctor made a special house call and instead of a doctor's bag, Dr. Roshini Raj carried a grocery bag and  she showed Manhattan mom Lyss Stern some everyday items that can help  everyone avoid getting the  flu or cold this year.

The first item out of the bag is garlic. Dr. Raj said, “Garlic is a very powerful antioxidant. It can really help boost your immune system.”

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Shitaki mushrooms are also a proven super food and just a pinch a day of herbs can give your body the edge in warding off a cold or flu.

As Stern was making a stew, Dr. Raj said, “Put a little sage in there, a little thyme, and everyone's favorite, oregano."

If you're thirsty, a daily glass of coconut water could be a big immune booster.

“Coconut water has lauric acid. This ingredient is a natural antimicrobial, which means it fights off bacteria, viruses, which means it can be very useful when we are in the middle of flu season,” said Dr. Raj.

Zinc is an essential mineral and has a strong track record of fighting the common cold. It may surprise you to learn that oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. It's also a tasty way to fight the flu.   

It’s not always about what you put in your tummy. You also need to be careful with your daily routines. Starting with your tooth brush. A big no-no? Storing brushes in the same glass.

Dr. Raj said, “This is definitely a recipe for disaster. As you can see, everyone in the family has put their toothbrush in the same cup. They are literally kissing right now. Germs are being spread from one toothbrush to another and if someone is sick, you can get sick from that same toothbrush."

She says place each brush in its own case. Another tip, make sure to wash your brushes frequently. She says dipping tooth brushes in peroxide will keep the flu virus and other bacteria from getting you sick.

And ladies, who knew your makeup bag can be full of germs that could lead to the flu. Dr. Raj says ordinary shampoo will help disinfect everything.

“You can imagine that if there are germs on this brush, it is touching all portals of entry on your face, your nose, your eyes, your mouth. That's the way you can get the flu,” said Dr. Raj.

Your cell phone is another place flu germs are hiding. Dr. Raj says disinfectant wipes are perfect but if you don't have any handy, try a little vodka.

Everyone knows that exercise helps boost the immune system, but germs are lurking everywhere. When you hit the gym before using the exercise equipment, make sure you wipe the handles and screen with a disinfectant. The New York Health and Racquet Club has them readily available.

One gym member told INSIDE EDITION, “If I’m sweating, I now other people are going to be sweating. It is better to be cautious. Who wants to get the flu?”

Here's another tip: place a towel between you and the equipment.

Finally, if one is available, a sauna is both relaxing and an ideal way to sweat the toxins out of your body.

There you have it, some simple tips to help keep you flu and cold free.