Back-to-School season is not your average petri dish. Scientifically speaking, it’s so germy. Extra germy. Kid or no kid, the germs are out there, disrespecting boundaries and ignoring personal space, and they have no interest in taking prisoners. They say the only way to fight fire, is with fire. Or in this case, extra, with extra. So in light of the words ‘pinworm’ and ‘hand-foot-and-mouth disease’, here are 5 ways to take your prevention tactics from basic to extra.

1 Cook Everything in Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is almost 50% lauric acid, which your body automatically converts into monolaurin, a monoglyceride with antibacterial, anti-fungual, and anti-viral properties. It’s basically a nature-made sayonara cocktail guaranteed to give any virus the worst, and last, night of it’s life. So cook with it, bake with it, grill, sauté, baste, fry, and fricassee with it. There is no other oil. Coconut oil is your life now. Yes. Be that person. Permission granted.

2 Eat a Spoonful of Honey

Straight up, on the rocks, or dirty, whatever feels right to you, but we think a plain old spoonful of it is going to be the most satisfying to your inner child. Honey, specifically raw honey, is said to contain a special probiotic called Lactobacillus kunkeei. Recent studies show that cells exposed to the kunkeei bacteria experience an immediate immune response, so we know that it activates the immune system. And ‘Immunoactivist’ is just one benevolent epithet on a list that includes ‘Germ Killer’ and ‘Soother of Sore Throats’. But just to be clear, we are not recommending that you keep your hand in the honey jar all day long (let’s be real, Christopher Robin was an enabler). A spoonful will suffice.

3 Drink Chlorophyll Water

Chlorophyll is the molecule that puts the green in your greens. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, liquid chlorophyll has even been shown to bind with carcinogenic molecules (from daily exposure to things like tobacco smoke and grilling meats) in order to flush the carcinogens from your body. Carcinogens lead to cancer, so–. But if you need more incentive, you’re welcome to read up on some of these other studies proposing weight loss benefits, body odor reduction, decreased inflammation, and faster rates of healing. And no, it doesn’t taste like a swamp. Ok, maybe it’s a tiny bit swampy. Barely. A hint of swamp and…cucumber ice cream? But did you hear that part about carcinogens? Just throw some Five Spice in there and tell yourself it tastes like chicken.

4 Nap Every Day

Sometimes, when it isn’t busy denying you everlasting youth or rejecting your request to travel through time, Science throws you a bone. In this case, the bone is actually a pillow. Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on your immune system. T-cell production decreases, and inflammatory cytokines increase, which typically turns you into every viruses next dream vacation destination. But a study conducted by Dr. Brice Faraut at Paris Descartes University found that just two 30 minutes naps during the day can actually reverse the effects of sleep deprivation. To put it in the words you will most likely need to repeat to your boss/partner/parents/friends later: “napping as a countermeasure to sleep restriction could, in addition to benefits on alertness, improve neuroendocrine stress and immune recovery, with a potential prophylactic long-term effect on cardiovascular health.” So, take the pillow, use the pillow, and remember to send Dr. Faraut something nice, like a Thank You Snuggie.

5 Don’t Just Nutrient, Phytonutrient

Phytonutrients are the luxury class of the nutrient market – not essential, but necessary in the sense that a heated steering wheel in the subzero hours of your morning commute plays an imperative role in the making of your best life ever. While vitamins such as A, C, D, and E are a dime a dozen, phytonutrients can only be found in plant-based food sources. And not just any plant-based foods, the brightest and the boldest (#soextra). Plants produce phytonutrients to protect themselves from external threats (insect attacks, UV rays, germs), and coincidentally these phytonutrients are what give a plant its pigment, which is why we’re told to eat the rainbow (not to be confused with ‘taste the rainbow’ which is an advertisement for Skittles referencing a completely different rainbow with the exact opposite effect). So phytonutrients are kind of like an immune system, for the plant. If you eat the plant, you get the phytonutrient. If you get the phytonutrient, it’s kind of like you’re adding immune system to your immune system, which might be the most ‘extra’ thing we’ve told you to do.

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