The flu season is upon us in full force! It has been spreading through families like wild fire, and my schedule at my clinic has been slowly decreasing because of it. Flu season never changes. It comes around the same time each year and those of us that get through it unscathed feel like we have accomplished something. Is there something that we did differently? Or are we just lucky? We all know this time of year can be a challenge. Kids are bringing everything home from school and there is really nothing that we can do about it…or is there? Are there certain things that we can do to try and avoid that stomach bug? Are there particular foods that we can eat that will help fend off those nasty germs? Here are some tips to try and keep yourself healthy this flu season:
Get the flu vaccine:
Now even though I don’t get the flu shot I still recommend my elderly patients to get it. I feel that the older you are the more your immune system is suppressed. Those type of patients will benefit the most from it. And even though my kids did get the flu, they still got the vaccine this past fall.
Use precautions and practice good hygiene:
– Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
– Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough.
– Stay home if you are sick.
– Wash your hands frequently after touching things.
– Avoid touching your face without washing your hands first.
*These are all common sense, but it is worth mentioning.*
Eat foods that give health benefits:
Everybody reaches for OJ or chicken noodle soup when they get sick or feel the sniffles coming on. There are so many more foods that can be consumed that will help prevent the flu from making it’s way into your system. Here are just a few:
Bone broth is a common food source you can drink to boost your immune system. It contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others as well. Research has shown that the amino acids that are produced reduces inflammation and also improves digestion. Other benefits include joint protection, good gut health, skin health, aides in metabolism and boosts detoxification just to name a few. Garlic has been known to kill viruses and prevent sickness. Red Bell Peppers contain twice the amount of vitamin C as oranges do. In turn this can also help fight off illness as well as decrease the length of duration. Carrots and sweet potatoes convert into vitamin A in the body which increase T-cells and boost your immunity. Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which are antioxidants that fight disease.
And for you sweet tooth lovers…dark Chocolate has cocoa in it that also boosts T-cells and increase your immune system. Probiotics are also good for gut health. They keep your “good bacteria” in check. Although the research on if it helps prevent cold and flu is still up for debate, it is still not a bad idea to add a daily serving of yogurt to your other healthy habits.
All these are just suggestions and a good start. There are many others that you can research and find, but I felt that these were basic and easy to find and use in just about any meal. Here’s to your health! Cheers!