The media frenzy continues over the swine flu. Scare mongers are doing what they do best – driving people into an intense state of fear. There’s threats of forced vaccinations with untested vaccines. This summer was shorter and cooler than any on record – except in the states of Oregon and Washington – so we didn’t get our annual build up of vitamin D. Tomatoes are sitting on the vines not ripening. And schools in many areas have started even earlier.
It has all the makings of a truly terrible flu season. You might be wondering if there is anything you can do to protect you and your family. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure, right?
First, remember that it’s flu. It’s not contagious cancer. Put it in perspective.
Right now, our best offense is a good defense. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family healthy –
Eat your 5-9, or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Take your vitamins. I’m adding Vitamin B12, C, D, and Zinc to hopefully give me a little more of an edge.
Get enough sleep. Your body uses sleep time to repair. A tired body is a weakened body.
Get 30 minutes of exercise a day. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Just move your body for 30 minutes a day. Walk, vacuum, dance…
Do not get chilled. We are in a flucuating weather pattern where you can easily get wet and cold. That lowers your immune response. Don’t worry about looking cool right now. Stay warm and dry.
Stay at least 5 feet away from anyone with sniffles and coughs.
Wash your hands often.
Change your hand towels daily.
Wipe down kitchen counters, bath room, and door knobs to help prevent the spread of germs.
Use a disinfectant wipe on telephones and keyboards.
If you feel sick – STAY HOME!
In today’s world its a badge of honor to go to work no matter how sick your are. That’s crazy, and that’s how this stuff spreads. Not to mention that it takes you longer to recover that way.
Parents – Do Not Send Your Kids To School Sick!
If you think you have flu, call the doctor’s office. They will tell you if you need to come in.
There are also a number of foods and vitamins that will help you prevent the flu, or help you reduce the effects of the symptoms and the duration of your attack should you get the flu:
Foods that strengthen your immune system –
Almonds, apricots, broccoli, canteloupe, carrots, cashews, celery, chicken, chocolate, citrus fruits, garlic, dark greens, eggs, fruits, garlic, green tea, mango, meat, mushrooms, onion, peaches, peanuts, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potato, tomato, tomato products, walnuts, watermelon.
Essential nutrients to build your immune system –
Anti-oxidants (especially vitamins C & E and lycopene), Vitamin A, Vitamin D (get out in the sun a little!), Omega 3s, folate, protein, magnesium, and zinc.
It is vitally important to get exercise and reduce stress. Exercise reduces stress, so the two go hand in hand. Breathing exercises and Yoga help too.
Foods that act as anti-virals-
Apple, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cayenne, garlic, herbs, honey, lemon, mustard, onion, plums, raspberries.
Foods that help you reduce your flu symptoms and duration –
Garlic, Echinacea, Cayenne pepper, Lemon juice (fresh), Tomato Juice, Orange juice, Vitamin C, Ginger, Green tea, Chicken Soup, lots of fruits.
Use steam or humidifier.
If you know you have been exposed to flu, don’t wait for symptoms. Start your attack right away – eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking orange juice and green tea, and taking your vitamins – especially vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc. It’s no coincidence that flu season starts when we have less exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is very important.
And please, if you are feeling sick – stay home. Do not go to school, or to work, or to the mall. I can’t say that enough. Please have some regard for your fellow human beings.
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