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Take Care of Your Immune System

My family tends to get sick with colds and the flu in the fall. What can we do to stay healthy?
Take Care of Your Immune System

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We need to take care of our immune system. This body system includes a variety of disease-fighting cells and organs, including your spleen and bone marrow. Consider these tips to keep you and your family healthy this fall:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing is considered the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection. If you are not close to a sink, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer according to the directions.
  • If you have a cold, be sure to cover your cough with your arm, not your hands. Better yet, stay home when you are ill and recuperate.
  • Eat a healthful diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables, with lean protein, healthful fats, low-fat dairy and whole grains to round out your plate. Drink plenty of water, too.
  • Be active at least five days per week, aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • Get plenty of rest. In general, people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

For more information, see and click on "Immune System."

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise October 2015 newsletter (PDF)

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