Flu season seems to come earlier and earlier each year.The CDC is already strongly recommending that people go out and get their annual flu shots. And while vaccines can offer protection from the flu, there are other natural methods of flu prevention you can use to help avoid infection and minimize symptoms if you do contract the flu virus.
One great way to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce your susceptibility to the flu virus is to supplement with Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is produced in the body during exposure to sunlight. During the winter we tend to get less exposure so vitamin D supplements are recommended. People who take vitamin D supplements have better luck avoiding the seasonal flu. This idea that Vitamin D helps fight the flu is further supported by a study conducted last year:
“The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu,” says researcher Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, of the University of Colorado, Denver, Division of Emergency Medicine, in a news release. “Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency.”
Other methods of Flu Prevention Include (thank you to FluHelp.org for the following tips):
If you want to avoid getting the flu this winter, follow these 7 proven techniques for boosting your immune system, fighting off germs, and keeping your body healthy…
- Get enough sleep. Your immune system functions much better when you get enough sleep. Most people really need about 8 hours per night for optimal health. If you’re body is fatigued, it simply won’t be able to fight off the flu virus (or any other infection) very well.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps keep your immune system strong. In fact, a recent study showed that mice who performed mild exercise as soon as they were exposed to the flu virus had much lower death rates. Read about the study here.
- Avoid sugar. Even small amounts of sugar can significantly impair your immune function, making you more susceptible to a flu infection. A large amount of sugar, such as the amount found in a normal can of soda, hurts your immune function for hours.
- Drink lots of pure water. Keeping your mucous membranes well-hydrated is a key to helping them fight off viruses. Shoot for about eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- Reduce stress. Too much stress has a highly negative impact on your overall health and, over time, it will make you much more susceptible to a flu infection. Studies show that prolonged stress is at least partially responsible for 90% of all illness and disease. Regular exercise and sufficient sleep both help reduce stress levels. Also, meditation is a proven stress-buster that is easy, enjoyable and can be used on a daily basis.
- Wash your hands often. Also, carry a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently, especially after you touch anything that others have touched recently (like doorknobs).
- Eat immune-boosting foods on a daily basis. A healthy diet, including a few proven immune-boosting foods, is one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu. The best flu-fighting foods are:
- Fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables – Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy phytonutrients that can strengthen your immune system, lowering your susceptibility to the flu virus.
- Fresh raw or lightly-cooked garlic – Garlic has strong natural antiviral properties that can help to fight off a flu virus. Also, garlic provides a strong boost to your immune system, especially when eaten on a regular basis.
- Green Tea – Like garlic, green tea has shown the ability to both kill viruses and to stimulate the immune system to fight off flu infections, especially when used daily. Try to drink 3-6 cups of strong green tea per day during the flu season.
- Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne has a long list of health benefits and is believed to be a mild immune-booster. Also, cayenne contains large amounts of natural vitamin A, considered to be an important “anti-infection” nutrient.
Contact a BioVeda Health & Wellness Center near you to learn more about how to achieve optimal health and wellness. Get Well. Stay Well. BioVeda.