The 2018 flu season is upon us, which, according to the CDC we have not officially entered yet here in Florida. That does not mean that the flu and other viruses aren’t making their way around our households and community. Getting the flu shot is on the “to do list” of many and it is made widely available. But outside of the flu shot, many of us may not do much more to protect ourselves from getting sick.
Since the flu vaccine does not provide immediate protection from the flu, there is a window of opportunity (about 2 weeks) to “come down” with the flu. Not to mention that you can still get a flu even after being vaccinated if you are exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the flu vaccine.
Common symptoms of the flu include, fever, muscle and body aches, coughing, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. Some people may even experience vomiting and diarrhea. Just having a couple of these symptoms can make life miserable.
You can limit the spreading of the flu by following the Non-pharmaceutical interventions posed by the CDC;
- Staying home when sick
- Wearing a mask in public if you are sick
- Covering mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Using hand sanitizer (I prefer washing hands with soap and water when available)
That being said, know that there are natural and holistic options to keep us from getting sick and can also help us to recover quicker should we already be taken down by symptoms. Here are 11 ways you can boost your immune system this flu season.
- Vitamin C (liposomal) boosts white blood cells and immune system function
2. Vitamin D3 helps regulate your immune response and supplementation may be even more beneficial if your vitamin D level is low.
3. Echinacea supports the immune system and more effective if taken at the first sign of symptoms
4. Probiotics, especially containing Bacillus subtilis species have been shown to inhibit the flu virus in particular. However, various strains of probiotics also improve and support the immune system overall.
5. Fluids in the form of hot tea and water help flush toxins, bacteria and viruses from the body.
6. Lemon tea with raw honey and cinnamon. Honey is a natural antimicrobial and cinnamon has antiviral properties. They both also help to decrease mucous buildup
7. Ginger tea. Ginger is an antiviral and can prevent viruses from sticking to the mucosa in the upper respiratory tract.
8. Eat lots of fresh veggies. The colors found in veggies and fruits all have different properties which help boost the immune system and support health in many different ways.
9. Eat whole foods, stay away from processed foods and sugar. The additives and chemicals found in processed foods create a burden on the body as well as the immune system. Sugar actually weakens the immune system by inhibiting certain white blood cells from working and sugar helps bacteria to grow.
10. Moderate Exercise done 3-4 times a week can strengthen the immune system AND decrease the amount of days you are sick. On the other hand, too much strenuous exercise for prolonged periods can actually DEPLETE the immune system.
11. Sleep. Not enough sleep can weaken the immune system and it’s ability to fight off infection. Adequate sleep is restorative for the body and mind and is especially important when you have sick symptoms.
Learn more here
Have a healthy flu season!