STAY HEALTHY. STAY OUT OF THE ER.


We love interacting with the people of the Laredo community, but we’d much rather do it outside the ER than inside it. Keep up with the latest knowledge from our professionals to help keep yourself in the peak of health.




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13/Dec/2018

As much joy as the holidays can bring for many of us, the season also brings with it more than its fair share of safety risks. With fireplaces aglow, candles burning, and string lights sparkling on giant piles of tinder, it’s a time for caution as well as merrymaking. Throw in a houseful of festive kids and pets, and your holiday joy could quickly turn into a trip to Laredo Emergency Room for your little ones, or a trip to the emergency vet for your furry companions.

We really don’t want you spending your holidays seeking emergency medical care for the ones you love most, so we’re sharing these holiday safety tips that will help you keep your kids and your pets safe all season long.

  • Watch the cords. Whether you string lights only on a simple tree in the corner or deck out your entire house in LEDs, the electrical cords from string lights can pose a major safety risk, especially for children and pets. Cords that snake out along the floor pose a tripping hazard that can result in falls and injuries to children, and can serve as a chewing temptation for pets. Very young children may even play among the strings and become strangled. So be sure to tuck away all cords and, when you can’t avoid running cords along walls, use cord covers designed to keep cords in place and protected.

 

  • Choose battery-operated candles. Kids are fascinated by fire and often can’t resist the temptation to experiment with lit candles, even if only to blow and watch the flames dance. The problem is that those dancing flames can catch nearby flammable materials, resulting in a potentially catastrophic fire. Pets are often fearful of flames, which may cause them to panic and accidentally overturn a lit candle. The National Fire Protection Association says that the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Luckily, battery-operated candle choices abound, with many realistic-looking options available to help you avoid adding to those numbers.

 

  • Screen the spread. The holidays bring with them many opportunities to indulge in once-a-year treats. Those delicious additions don’t just add calories to our diet – they also pose risks to our children and pets. Overeating can cause nausea and abdominal pain for all of us, but children oftentimes are even more sensitive to ingredients that are new to them and may have more significant reactions. Children also love to grab handfuls of the treats that pop up during the holidays – but because “bite-sized” treats are not one size fits all, children are more likely to choke on these goodies. Be sure to check all treats for size before you serve to your children. Pets are highly sensitive to the delicious smells of holiday foods and often can’t resist sneaking a serving for themselves – so beware of leaving out chocolate and any other foods that may be harmful to your pets.

 

  • Travel safely. The winter holiday season is one of extensive travel for many families with kids and pets, whether on the road or by air. Making your holiday trip safe for the kids and pets in your family is easy with just a few guidelines. First, always buckle up your children, even for long car rides, whether in a baby seat, booster, or the car’s seat belt. Pets can comfortably ride crated if you have the space, or you can fit them with their own seatbelt or car seat. Make sure to never let your pet out of the vehicle without a leash. If flying, don’t have your child sit on the aisle, where passengers are most likely to become injured by passing carts or other passengers.

 

These holiday safety tips are sure to help make your season more enjoyable for you and your family.

But if you should find yourself facing a medical emergency this holiday season, Laredo Emergency Room is here to help 24/7/365.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

Thanksgiving kicks off the most joyous time of year. You’re off of work, spending time with friends and loved ones, enjoying nice weather, and of course, indulging in amazing holiday food! Unfortunately, weight gain over the holidays has become commonplace for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be the norm! If you’ve been worried about how you’re going to avoid the holiday pounds, we have a few ways you can make this Thanksgiving the healthiest on record.

Don’t Come to Dinner Starving

The same rule that applies to grocery shopping applies to Thanksgiving dinner: the hungrier you are, the more you’re going to consume! Have a lighter snack before arriving or bring a snack with you to curb your appetite before dinner. You are less likely to overindulge if you have been able to snack throughout the day.

Create a Colorful Plate

Fruits and vegetables are a great substitute for breads and starches. Swap the mashed potatoes for green beans, and the dinner rolls for carrots! Take advantage of the nutritious foods that are available to you, or suggest making and bringing healthy dishes for everyone to share! A colorful plate means you have mostly avoided the beige-colored calories – biscuits, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes!

Opt for White Meat

Did you know that dark meat turkey with the skin has twice the fat of white meat, and 40% more calories? Choosing white meat selections without the skin in 3.5-ounce portions will save you on a good amount of calories that come on a Thanksgiving dinner plate. Turkey will also keep you feeling fuller longer.

Think “Simple” for Desert

Instead of going straight for the sugar after dinner, pick deserts that include fruit or something fruit-based. Traditional options like fruit salads and pumpkin pie are great alternatives to frosted sugar cookies and sweet pecan pie! 

Practice Mindfulness and Portion Control

These two approaches go hand-in-hand, as being conscious of your portion sizes and mindful of what you’re consuming will lead to healthier decisions when you’re passing through the casserole buffet line. It is easy to become distracted at family holiday gatherings and begin grazing on the first appetizer put in front of you but stay conscious of the items you’re putting on your plate or napkin.

We can’t tell you how to tell your mom that you just can’t eat her sweet potato casserole, but armed with these tips, you will be able to successfully navigate your way to a cleaner Thanksgiving.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

We all know that trying to live a healthy lifestyle day in and day out can be difficult. You’re supposed to keep track of your calories, your sleep, and your steps on top of working out, meal prepping, and making sure you’re not eating junk – we’re exhausted just typing it all out! Thankfully, we live in a day and age that there is an app or a gadget for just about everything, and lately, there have been more than a few technological devices aimed at helping you maintain your health that has popped up. Here are some of the best health gadgets you can stock up on this Black Friday for yourself, or the health nut in your life:

PainPod

Chances are you probably know someone in your life that suffers from chronic pain if you don’t suffer from it yourself. The PainPod is a wearable gadget that is a safe substitute for painkillers that is powered by microcurrents and biomedical technology that is able to understand the body’s nervous and electrical systems and work to manage pain, improve muscle performance, and speed up recovery! All you have to do is stick it on the area that is in pain and the Pod goes to work! If this isn’t the future of healing, we don’t know what is.

Phillips Centrifugal Juicer

Are you getting enough fiber? Would you even know where to start if you weren’t? A good juicer can take the guessing out for you; welcome the Phillips Juicer! This gift comes complete with FiberBoost technology, which will allow you to switch the texture of your juice. The creamier the juice, the more the fiber (up to 50% more). This juicer is also super easy to clean, making it more likely for you to actually use it and not leave it on your kitchen shelf!

Nokia Thermo

Getting your temperature taken has never been easier. With the Nokia Thermo, all that’s necessary to get an accurate reading is to swipe the Thermo across your forehead and the device reads your temperature from your temporal artery.

Apple Watch

When Apple set out to change the face of personal technology, we don’t know if they had your workouts in mind, but they certainly have changed the way we track our physical activity. The Apple Watch is so high-tech, it can track your calories burned based on the type of workout you’re doing, your heart rate, age, and weight. Doing high-intensity interval training? Apple knows. Swimming a few laps in an outdoor pool? Apple knows! It also has the ability to keep track of your activity day after day, year over year, sending you motivating and encouraging messages to “close your rings!” along the way. Just slap on your watch and literally watch the burned calories add up!

While no device can make you healthy by itself, having high-tech toys to help you along the way can provide motivation. So, after stocking up on these gadgets, let there be no more excuses – get out and get moving!

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

The holiday season is near, and no one wants to feel bad during the happiest time of the year. The cold and flu season always seems to start earlier and more aggressively than the year before, which is why it is important to stay ahead of the virus by taking precautions to avoid the cold and flu. While there is no 100% guarantee that you can prevent the cold and flu, we have a few tips you can use to help strengthen your immune system and avoid catching the cold and flu this season!

  • Wash your hands frequently: One of the best ways to prevent the common cold and flu is to wash your hands. As we touch public doors, buttons, bathroom door handles, and come into close contact with a sick co-worker or a significant other, we then touch our face transferring bacteria and viruses causing germs to easily enter the body. Biotherm states that on average you touch your face 2000 to 3000 times per day – which is 2 to 5 times a minute! LER recommends washing your hands shortly after interaction with public objects. The proper way to wash your hands is to use soap and warm water. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse well with water and finally dry with a towel. Another way to prevent the cold and flu is to utilize hand sanitizer. Apply throughout the day to stay germ-free.

 

  • Drink plenty of water: By staying hydrated, you can flush out bad toxins in your body, which will allow you to recover faster and stay hydrated. Although water is best, hot tea is also a doctor’s recommendation because it has antioxidants. Drinking hot tea can deliver instant and constant relief from a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness, and tiredness. Whether it’s water or tea, keep hydrated with plenty of fluids to strengthen your immune system.

 

  • Flu vaccinations: Staying up to date with yearly vaccinations is important. If you’re waiting for your symptoms to worsen, it’s too late. Every year, the flu causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The flu shot is available to help protect people from the virus. We encourage you to visit your primary care physician, or your closest CVS or Walgreens, to receive this year’s vaccination. According to CDC, by getting the flu shot you are reducing the risk of having to visit the doctor due to the flu by 30 percent to 60 percent. Get the flu shot today, before it’s too late!

 

Though cold and flu season is here, following these health tips can help you maintain a strong immune system and recover faster should you get sick. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal health or if the flu shot is right for you, contact your doctor to discuss other possible safe solutions for you and your family.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

Across the nation, sport related injuries are on the rise—and they can contribute to many factors. The physical stress is often too much for the growing bodies of young athletes and wearing the proper safety gear isn’t always enforced. And this just scratches the surface.

Studies have now connected concussions to prolonged participation in football. The condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, has led to life-altering physical and mental conditions for many prominent professional athletes. Although sports leagues and schools have sparked nationwide campaigns to help encourage safety in sports at all ages. And though sport related injuries are now on high alert, dangers of suffering injuries are no less alarming. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the following:

1.) Football accounted for 1, 0240,022 doctor office, emergency room, and hospital visits

2.) Soccer accounted for 368,726 injuries

3.) Cheerleading caused 75,307 injuries

4.) Gymnastics contributed to 67,542 injuries

This is why parents must get involved to keep young athletes safe, in addition to efforts from programs such as Heads Up Football and our very own, here at Laredo Emergency Room. The following are some simple ways you can help protect your child from injuries:

  • 1.) Heart Screenings – Unfortunately, a life of sports is not meant for everyone, especially those of us with heart conditions. It’s never easy to take away something they love, but sometimes that’s the best way to protect our loved ones.
  • 2.) Stretching and Warming Up – To help prepare their body for exercise, make sure they loosen their joints and increase their blood flow by stretching. Encourage them to gently prepare for physical activity by warming up.
  • 3.) Playing with Kids Their Age – Your child can be as large as an older kid and still not as physically mature. Letting them play with them may be too big of a risk and literal hit to take.
  • 4.) Avoiding Excessive Fatigue – Some schools of thought have suggested fatigue contributes to sports-related injuries. Until the cause and correlation are clear, we should not let our children over-extend themselves.
  • 5.) Buying the Right Shoes – Running routes on wet grass in sneakers is an injury waiting to happen. Investing in the right shoes can help keep them out of our ER and on the playing field!
  • 6.) Staying Hydrated – Losing just 1% of their body’s water content can increase the likelihood of injury.
  • 7.) Avoiding Playing while Injured – When not under profession sports contract, playing injured should be out of the question. Let them heel before they get back on the field.
  • 8.) Watching Their Temperature – Combining sports with temperatures in the upper 90’s too 100’s can equal a heat stroke. In the summer, at its hottest, young athletes face the most significant risk.
  • 9.) Consuming Nutritious Foods – Sports injuries can often be a sign of nutritional imbalances. Help avoid the problem by preparing pre-workout-foods that have a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and calories.
  • 10.) Joining a Team Sport – Youth sports participation can not only help improve your child’s health and physical fitness, but can also boost their self-esteem, and improve their leadership skills!

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13/Dec/2018

We all know it – being a parent is exhausting! And with a million things already a part of your daily routine, we can see how family fitness could be at the bottom of your list. But all things considered, working exercise into your family’s schedule is just too important to neglect. Enhanced health, extra energy, and improved physical condition are some of the main attributes of regular exercise. Studies have also shown children who exercise more, may do better academically and learn how to reduce stress.

Regular exercise can also help you balance work and family. Studies have also shown there to be a strong relationship between planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive physical activity with one’s ability to balance work and home.

Experts suggest adults engage in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity each week at a moderate level, or 1 hour and 15 at high intensity. They also recommend children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity—per day!

Now that we know the importance of regular workouts, the level of intensity and how long, let’s put our personal trainer hats on and show our kids how it’s done. Here are some helpful tips on how to make physical fitness a family affair:

  1. 1. Set Goals – After deciding to make physical activity a family routine, it’s best to determine how you will define success. Make sure your goals are both specific and realistic. Walking 30 minutes every day for a week is an excellent example of an achievable and concrete objective.
  2. 2. Make It a Habit – Schedule exercise time and try your best to stick to it. A sneaky way to help form the habit is to start a 30-day, participation challenge. Even if it’s a competition, when the whole family’s exercising, everybody wins.
  3. 3. Buy Sports Equipment – If you want your child to work out like a champ, buy some sporting goods, play the coach, and encourage them to train like their favorite stars. Baseballs, footballs, frisbees, jump ropes are just a few options that are great for getting in shape.
  4. 4. Make It a Chore – Working out can be fun. It can also be a responsibility. Raking leaves, cleaning the garage, and cutting the grass all build muscles and raise heart rates.
  5. 5. Incorporate Technology – In today’s world, there’s an app for everything and plenty of options when it comes to exercise. Apps add excitement and track progress. A few fun and free fitness apps for families include Zombies, Run!, FitQuest Lite, and NFL Play 60.
  6. 6. Limit Screen Time – On the other hand taking away technology encourages kids to seek outside sources of entertainment. Take away phones, tablets, and turn off the tv after a predetermined period. Then, suggest they play with family and friends outdoors.
  7. 7. Have an Active Outing – Whether it be hiking, biking, kickball, or canoeing, exercise is more exhilarating when disguised as a trip. Even walking has been proven to be an excellent source of excerise.

 

 

For more information on how to make physical activity a part of your family’s routine, check out this family-based focus group study by the US National Library of Medicine.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

Here’s the good news: the rate at which American men are getting prostate cancer has been undergoing a fairly steady (and significant) decline for years  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the bad news is that prostate cancer is still the second most common cancer in American men. This makes having a basic understanding about the disease, as well as your personal risk factors for getting it, as important as ever for men.

The prostate sits just below a man’s bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds the urethra. While its normal size is about that of a marble, it tends to grow as a man advances in age, which can put pressure along the urethra, affecting the flow of urine. Enlarging of the prostate is a relatively common occurrence, but, unfortunately, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be mistaken for the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Therefore, it’s critical to see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
  • Difficulty controlling the flow of urine
  • A weak, interrupted urine flow
  • Pain during urination or ejaculation
  • Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum, lower back, hips, or thighs

Again, the problem with this list of symptoms is that it is eerily similar to those of other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate – which causes many men a great deal of discomfort, but for which many men may also procrastinate seeking treatment… a delay that can be deadly when we’re talking about something as serious as cancer.

(By the way, at Laredo Emergency Room, we do treat men who have experienced medical emergencies associated with enlarged prostates, and we can tell you that seeing your doctor sooner rather than later is best, even if you don’t suspect cancer as the culprit.)

 

When the above symptoms indicate the presence of cancerous tumors, it usually means the cancer is more advanced and more difficult to treat. That means screenings are essential to your men’s health routine – and can find the cancer before you experience significant symptoms. Laredo Emergency Room physicians advise our patients without symptoms to have prostate screening done yearly beginning at age 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer, age 45 if you are African American, and by age 50 for everyone else.

 

To be screened for prostate cancer, you need only have a simple blood test called a PSA test, which measures the level of protein produced by the prostate. Some physicians will conduct a rectal exam in addition to a PSA test. Elevated PSA levels may prompt your doctor to ask you to undergo further testing.

 

When screening is this easy, it’s hard to understand why so many men put it off … so Laredo Emergency Room urges you to take control of your health and talk to your doctor – especially if you have any symptoms. Taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule once a year as your doctor recommends can save your life.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook!

Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

Most often, when the topic of cancer and women’s health comes up, people first think about breast cancer. It’s got a lot of marketing power behind it – its own month, its own signature color, and several highly publicized annual fundraisers complete with celebrity spokeswomen. Because of the prominence breast cancer is given – and the education about the disease that comes with it – women are more likely to have routine screening and to recognize possible signs that will prompt them to seek out medical attention.

However, at Laredo Emergency Room, we are seeking to shine the spotlight on another disease that’s taking the lives of thousands of women each year: ovarian cancer, which begins in the ovaries, the two small reproductive organs in which a woman’s eggs are produced. While the American Cancer Society ranks ovarian cancer fifth for cancer deaths among women, it’s still a very deadly disease – because while fewer women get cancer of the ovaries, it causes more deaths than any other cancer of female reproductive organs.

While a variety of tests, such as pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and biopsies, can help a physician diagnose ovarian cancer once it is suspected, the main problem lies in that there are no routine screenings for ovarian cancer. This means that more often than not, ovarian cancer has progressed to an advanced stage before it is caught.

A second problem is that ovarian cancer brings with it an assortment of ambiguous symptoms such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, a need to urinate frequently or urgently, and feeling full quickly during meals. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance also warns that fatigue, pain in the back or with intercourse, constipation, and menstrual irregularities can also signal the presence of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer symptoms can even include gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite, along with weight fluctuations.

These are symptoms that we know many women wouldn’t even come to Laredo Emergency Room to treat, even though a deadly disease is lurking underneath. That’s because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are so generalized and easily mistaken for signs of other women’s health conditions or even simply for issues with diet or stress.

Because ovarian cancer is so sly and therefore difficult to catch in its earliest stages, the best course of action for women is to become knowledgeable of their own risk factors for the disease:

  1. 1. Women of advancing age – About half of all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are age 63 and older.
  2. 2. Women who never had children or had children later – Not having a full-term pregnancy by the age of 35 puts women at greater risk for ovarian cancer.
  3. 3. Women who have undergone IVF – In vitro fertilization treatment increases a woman’s risk of certain types of ovarian cancers.
  4. 4. Women who take hormone therapy – Using estrogens after menopause can increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer.
  5. 5. Women with a personal or family history of cancers – If a woman has had breast cancer – or has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer – she is at greater risk.

While knowing your personal risk factors for ovarian cancer and any women’s health concerns can help you become more self-awareand more likely to start the right kinds of conversation with your physician


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13/Dec/2018

Once we clock in at work, it’s easy to focus simply on getting the job done. We want to be productive. We want to meet deadlines and goals. Even work in a few moments here and there to socialize with coworkers. But too often what falls by the wayside, forgotten and neglected, is our health.

For many of us, working means sitting at a desk for long periods of time. This sedentary presence leads employees down the path to poor cardiovascular health and weight gain. According to an article written by Dr. Edward Laskowski, a certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, sitting for too long repeatedly can create more significant health issues. This can give rise to metabolic syndrome, characterized by elevated cholesterol and an increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and fat around the waist.
Staring at computer screens all day can be hard on the eyes and cause headaches, while poor chair support and computer screen alignment can lead to stiff, aching muscles and lasting (but not irreversible) changes in posture and carriage – which, if left uncorrected, can cause joint problems further down the road.

Some workers forgo breaks and lunch in order to remain focused on their tasks. Haley Robinson, a clinical dietitian at Piedmont Atlanta, describes how this causes the metabolism to slow down and go into survival mode, which makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight and prompts workers to overeat at the end of the workday.

At Laredo Emergency Room, we know firsthand that these workplace habits lead to significant health problems. We frequently treat patients for heart-related conditions that are directly related to an inactive lifestyle. We see people every day for complaints relating to back pain, muscle spasms caused by tension and poor posture, and much more. We, in the community, must understand that being at work does not preclude us from making healthy choices.

Here are nine tips on staying healthy at work:

 1. When you have to sit, do it right. Start by making sure your chair is supportive to your back and that you can sit comfortably with your legs uncrossed.
2. When you use a computer, your neck should be straight. If you find yourself looking down, you should elevate your screen.
3. For those with hand and wrist issues, like carpal tunnel syndrome, look into keyboard and mouse options that can help with hand and wrist comfort.
4. Take frequent breaks. Stand up and stretch, and then walk for even just a few minutes once every thirty minutes.
5. Find ways to stay active as you work, like pacing around your workspace as you talk on the phone, or having coworkers join you for “working walks” instead of traditional conference-room meetings.
6. As you sit at your computer, you can work a variety of desk exercises into your day.
7. Trade your traditional chair for a balance ball chair, which can help with posture and strengthen your core.
8. Incorporate a raised desk that allows you to stand while you work. If your environment allows, you can even position your computer or work surface above a treadmill.
9. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day, including snacks high in protein and fiber, to keep up your energy and help you maintain a healthy metabolism.

The great thing is that putting into place some of these healthy approaches to your workday is actually easy. We know that making them a habit is the hard part – but recruiting co-workers to join you in your quest can help. Most employers also love hearing that their staff is seeking ways to be healthier and are usually willing to help in any way they can.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Be sure to check out 10 additional ways you can stay healthy at work.

Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

With the back-to-school season upon us, it won’t take long for the bugs to come out. And not the creepy crawly kind, but rather the contagious ones… influenza, the common cold, rotavirus, and many others. With our kids being in such close proximity to each other, and often holed up indoors for most of the school year, the time is ripe for sharing infectious germs. And the contagion doesn’t stop at the school playground. Parents catch viruses from their kids and share them with coworkers, often before we even realize we are sick.

In spite of all of this, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves from illness that goes beyond good hygiene habits like frequent handwashing… and that is boosting our immune systems from the inside out. In addition to getting adequate sleep each night, simple dietary changes can help us fight viral infections. To boost your immune system, go beyond the traditional daily glass of OJ and try to incorporate these delicious options into your diet:

1.) Berries – In addition to being a super brain food, blueberries and other berries can help boost our immune systems because of their high levels of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants bolster our respiratory systems’ defense system, helping to protect us against illness.


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