MHLbannersmallBut there's a combination of factors that
can make a big difference in your health

The information on National Handwashing Awareness Week reminds us that one of the best tools we have to help assure a healthier holiday season and beyond is as basic as keeping our hands clean. Appropriately enough, December also includes National Influenza Vaccination Week, which falls on December 8-14. Promoted by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disorders, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Vaccination Week highlights the importance of flu shots for everyone over six months of age, and particularly for people at high risk of serious flu complications.

Mohsin_Sheba_MD The article in this month's My Healthy Lifestyle about the health value of apples is yet another reminder of this convergence of resources we have at our disposal. And according to Sheba H. Mohsin, M.D., a Riverside Medical Group physician specializing in Family Medicine, we need to take advantage of every one of those tools.

"There's no single strategy for staying healthier over the Winter months, no magic bullet we can rely on, especially over the holidays when we end up being around a lot more people and getting outside our normal routines. The best way to protect yourself against the spread of infection is to use the combination of highly disciplined handwashing, making sure you get a flu vaccination and paying attention to what you're eating."

"It's very important to learn more about the fairly wide range of foods that are rich in antioxidants, foods that support the immune system and then follow up by eating some of them daily. Because the holidays can be a tough time for some people, a healthier diet also helps with anxiety and depression, as well as boosting your immunity. Effective handwashing, flu shots and better eating are all things that you and your family can readily access and, when taken together, they provide a significant counter to the cold and flu season."