Flu Season is here!
Yup, it’s that time of year again. Long winters and cold weather bring on more efforts from viruses to weaken your immune protection. In California, we might not get the extreme temperatures as seen in other parts of the country, but a simple 10 degrees in weather change, can bring down your immune system and make you prone to getting the cold or the flu.
Sometimes people are not sure if they are dealing with the common cold or the flu. Here is the difference:
The flu symptoms are usually
· Muscle aches, chest symptoms, and fatigue is severe
· Fever is higher
· Duration is longer
· Strong headache
· Flu symptoms also have a higher chance to lead to pneumonia and bacterial infections
You might have heard your doctor, pharmacy, employer, or school recommend getting the flu shot. Unfortunately, the flu vaccine does not guarantee protection because the virus that happens to circulate in the air might not be an “equal” to the one used in the vaccine.
Fortunately, there is also the option of following alternative steps to boost your immune system during this time.
· Hydrate well: Drink lots of fluids to flush pathogens from the body.
· Get rest: The most significant thing you can do is to rest.
· Water or broth fast for 24 hours can increase your human growth hormone and boost the immune system.
· Garlic and onions: known for their medicinal treatment of viruses, bacteria, and fungus.
· Oregano oil: inhibits pneumonia-causing bacteria
· Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant also reduces the length and intensity of symptoms once you catch the flu. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, red bell pepper, kiwi, broccoli, and kale.
· Vitamin D: Increases immunity intensely; spend some time outdoors (remember we live in Southern California; aka sun all year round) or take a supplement.
· Zinc: supports the immune system to defend against viral activity (it is depleted by a diet full of sugar and carbs btw.) Supplement with zinc glycinate.
· Glutathione: The mother of all antioxidants. Don’t run to the vitamin store quite yet. Glutathione is hard to absorb as a supplement, but you can feed your body grass-fed beef, whey protein powder, avocados, and broccoli to help create your own.
· Elderberry Extract: The anthocyanin in elderberries aid in preventing inflammation and flu infection. You can even take elderberry after you catch the flu to make the symptoms go away quicker.
· Echinacea: can ease bronchial symptoms of cold and flu.
· Honey and Cinnamon: Add to hot tea to avoid mucus buildup.
· Wash your hands often
Always remember that stress and lack of sleep will intensify flu symptoms. The flu is super contagious. If you catch the flu, limit your contact with others to keep from infecting them.
There is no reason to hide in a sterile plastic tent for the next few months, but you can take steps to get that titanium immune system to protect you from the viruses that are swarming this season.
Tanja Samalya, MNT