Influenza known as the flu is a viral condition that occurs most often in winter months. The media and the medical establishment are scaring people into getting the flu vaccine. But what if you don’t want to get that shot? There are options!
There are precautions you can take and self care you can do to reduce your susceptibility to many winter viruses.
Here are my six tips and recommendations for keeping your body in better defense of unwanted critters:
- Keep your home and work environment air moist. When air is dry (< 50% humidity), mucus membranes become dry making it easier for a virus to enter (and set up house). Humidifiers or vaporizer can be very helpful
Steam inhalation treatment: Use this treatment at the very first sign of respiratory or flu symptoms.
Nasal washes or saline sprays can soothe away dryness and add moisture. Some people with chronic sinus infections are able to keep healthy with regular use of washes and sprays. Here is an easy to use system designed by a medical doctor. I highly recommend this.
2. Hand washing is very important when you are out in public or shaking hands with others. It is important to remember that regular soap and water is sufficient. Avoid anti-bacterial cleansers that contain chemicals. They are harmful to health with constant use.
3. Reduce your sugar intake. Sugar suppresses immune function. So things like sweet drinks, donuts, candy, pastry and cookies burden the body. Read all package foods to learn the sugar content. Then avoid them.
4. Learn how to recover from STRESS! We all have life stressors, but how we recover from them is key. Take down time, reduce your schedule, ask for more help, take a bath….
- What’s stress got to do with it? Learn more about stress here.
- Deep and restful sleep at least 8 hours per night. Do not skip sleep; catch up on your sleep as soon as possible.
5. Eat foods that support your immune system: Mushrooms!
- Other foods like dark greens and colorful orange/red veggies.
- Dark blue/purple berry foods are important anti-oxidants.
6. Take particular herbs and vitamins:
Astragalus is a powerful anti-viral herb and immune support. It comes in liquid (extract that is easily used by the body), or capsules. A great preventive herb!
- Vitamin C: Linus Pauling from OSU (Oregon State University) did years of research that showed its effectiveness. Taking 1 gram a day can be helpful .
- B vitamins in a complex formula are very helpful with making everything (the bio-chemistry) work just right.
- Zinc is a powerful nutrient for better immune function. It improves white blood cell activity – the defense fighters.
- Probiotics found in fermented foods supports immunity. Supporting friendly bacteria in the digestive system are a part of health plan . So, eat sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, tempeh or drink kombucha tea regularly. Probiotics also come in capsules.
While not any one of these remedies alone may be the answer, I feel a combination of these strategies can keep you ahead of cold and flu season. It may at least reduce severity and complications sometimes encountered. Staying healthy is a strategy.
So don’t be scared of catching the flu, rather I encourage you to be proactive in your daily health care. By supporting your immune function, you CAN improve your chances of escaping the dreaded flu!
Be smarter by setting up your personal health plan with the tips given above.
DISCLAIMER: These suggestions cannot guarantee freedom of illness. Each individual has unique circumstances for their health. Please seek medical attention if your symptoms warrant medical care. Naturopathic medicine can provide wellness care tailored for you.
Dr. Jeanne offers Pure Encapsulation line of supplements that are hypoallergenic and formulated for doctors. See Pure Caps Pro for your immune support.