Every year people get nervous about the flu and do their due-diligence with the hand sanitizer. Building up a strong immune system is key when it comes to preventing the flu. Using herbs, whole foods, indigenous medicine, and stress-reducing practices will encourage a healthy immune system and set you up for a flu-free year.
Here are some tips and tidbits you should be aware of as we head into flu season.
1. The flu is not normally a life-threatening disease. Though it can pose risks for some people, the broader public health risk is overstated.
There are specific cases where people may be at higher risk for complications, such as the elderly, young children, those who are immune compromised, etc. If you or anyone you know does develop the flu, and you are concerned that their health is declining quickly, always seek medical attention.
2. The flu shot is promoted as one way to prevent the flu. It has an efficacy rate of 52 percent at most. Since the flu isn’t one single virus, there is a reduced chance of the flu shot working against the virus in your body. The CDC also states that it works best for young healthy adults or older children. Please consult with your health professional regarding the flu shot.
3. Taking vitamin D is an effective way to fight and prevent the flu. In case study after case study, those supplementing even a low dose of vitamin D had a 50 percent less chance of getting the flu. Checking your blood levels is the best way to know your vitamin D levels.
4. Elderberry syrup, or more specifically the sambucol, an elderberry extract, is a natural flu fighter. Preliminary research suggests sambucol deactivates the flu.
5. Sugar depresses the immune system. Since we have total control over what we feed our bodies, avoiding sugar can leave us in fighting form during flu season. Instead of sugary and processed foods, we should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, including berries and other high-quality whole foods.
6. You may not even have the flu! Only about 20 percent of influenza-like viruses are actually influenza. This is good news. Beating a head cold or the common cold often comes with more ease than fighting the influenza virus. Drink more fluids, or have some soups or tea to flush out that cold.
If you still end up catching the flu, here is a helpful recipe to help you recover quicker.
1-2 cups coconut water
2 cups organic mixed greens
1 cup frozen organic berries (cherries, blueberries, strawberries)
¼ cup cucumber
¼ cup sprouted almonds
1 tsp cacao nibs
1 serving organic Matcha powder
*optional ¼ cup frozen pineapple
Mix together in a blender and drink up.
Ashlee Rowland is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and the founder of Simplholistic. She is a women’s hormones expert and works closely with women to navigate their digestive issues. This article was originally published on NaturallySavvy.com