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How To Avoid Getting Sick While Flying

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Flying is perhaps the germiest way to travel. Not only is getting sick while flying about being in a confined space for an extended period of time but with so many people jet-setting from different parts of the world, it is easier than ever for illness to strike. Getting sick while flying is extremely inconvenient. Getting sick after travel is also highly common. Luckily, both can be avoided with some simple and proactive immune-boosting strategies.


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You Can Avoid Getting Sick While Flying

Put down the face mask -- it’s not how long a distance you travel, or who you sit next to on a plane, or even how much recycled air you’re breathing in on any given flight(s) – it’s how strong your immune system is that helps you to avoid getting sick while flying. A strong immune system is what protects you from getting sick while flying as well as getting sick after travel. The strength of your immune system is key to preventing any communicable disease.

Traveling And Illness Frequency

Statistics show that colds, respiratory illness, skin rashes, ear infections, and diarrhea account for many of the less serious problems that occur during and after travel. All of these ailments can be prevented and illness avoided by boosting immune system strength.

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Many Travelers Experience Adverse Health Events

A 2-year survey conducted of 784 travelers and published in the Journal of Travelers Medicine (95% follow-up) was conducted for persons traveling for less than or equal to 90 days. For the survey, travelers were given a postcard to record any adverse health events. Following their travel, telephone interviews were performed for any positive responses, or if the card was not returned. All travelers were contacted 2 months after return to determine late occurring illness.

Travelers had a mean age of 44 years, a median traveling duration of 19 days, and visited 123 countries. Illness was reported by 64% (1.6 illnesses per traveler). Ill travelers were more often female, and traveled longer than those who were not ill; depending upon destination, each day of travel increased by 3 to 4% the chance of becoming ill.

Consequently, the survey found that many travelers experienced adverse health events during and after travel to the developing world. Attention to the prevention and therapy of traveler's diarrhea, prophylaxis of malaria, management of respiratory illness, personal safety, and access to medical care during travel, and, recognition of clinical syndromes after return, helped to improve the traveler's health.

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How To Boost Your Immune System Before Traveling

When it comes to your health during travel and every day, the best defense is always a good offense. Boosting your immune system is easy, once you understand what factors that play into your good health. That being said, it is vital to your well being to be proactive with your health and prevent illness while traveling. It is not enough to pop some vitamin C before getting on an airplane, then wishing for the best -- your health involves effort. A strengthened immune system is weeks in the making. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead.

1. Your First Priority Is Nourishment

Any diet that excludes the necessary vitamin and mineral-rich foods your body needs to thrive can hinder your immune system health. Eating the proper foods to support and strengthen your immune system is vital to keeping you illness-free and travel-ready. This can be done by going plant-based before your trip. By eliminating high fat, fast and processed foods and animal products from your diet at least 30 days before your trip, you can alleviate your body of physiological stress while boosting your immune system. High amounts of animal products such as dairy and meat in the diet are particularly troublesome because they are mucus-causing and slow the digestive process. This slowing of your digestion can cause constipation and inflammation creating an acidic environment in the gut as well as toxicity and thickening of the blood. As a result, your body will go into overdrive working against these poor dietary choices, ultimately weakening your immune system.

2. Reduce Immune System Stress

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Nourish yourself by eating more fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and more medicinal antibacterial and antiviral foods such as ginger, raw organic honey, oregano, onions and garlic every day. Enjoy more immune-boosting antioxidant foods such as elderberries, grapes, wild blueberries, citrus, apples, dates, pears, and melon daily, as these foods are easily digested, ultra high in fiber and keep the digestive tract moving and stress-free. These plant-based natural healing foods are also easily assimilated as essential and powerful immune-boosting nutrients.

3. Take Nature's Multivitamin

The majority of U.S. adults—68 percent—take dietary supplements every day, however not all vitamin supplements are created equal. Just like junk foods, junk multivitamins exist. First off, it's a good idea to avoid any multivitamin that has a television commercial. Commercial brand supplements are often supplements with bold claims and small results. To keep costs down and profits up, many of the commercial supplements contain preservatives and fillers that are not working to improve your health. The same goes for chain stores and pharmacy brand supplements -- avoid them. A better alternative is to take spirulina. Spirulina is nature's multi-vitamin. These incredibly healing blue-green algae is a powerhouse of nutrients that work to nourish you, help maintain iron stores and usher heavy metals from the body.

4. Teas and Tinctures Are Powerful Immune Boosters

Herbal teas and tinctures, along with a plant-based diet are a fast and efficient way to boost your immune system before flying. Getting into the habit of having more herbal teas and herbal tinctures such as anti-viral and antibacterial lemon balm, red clover, nettle, and olive leaf, as well as dosing up on some immune-boosting zinc citrate, helps to protect you against harmful bacteria and viral infections such as streptococcus and norovirus. Choose alcohol-free tinctures, as these help to maintain potency and choose herbal teas that do not include natural flavors and citric acid, as these are forms of hidden MSG.

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Your Health Always Starts With You

Your immune system is the gatekeeper of your health. Ultimately, your health is all about the ability of your immune system to fight disease. With a strong immune system, you can not only ward off any illness but drastically increase your chances of preventing any contagious disease. Strengthening your immune system is your best and only defense to avoid getting sick while flying as well as getting sick after travel. Once your immune system is boosted, you safely and effectively increase the unlikelihood of contracting colds, respiratory infections, ear infections, diarrhea, skin rashes and more, both during and after your travels.