You’ve made it through the holidays (Happy New Year!), hopefully without falling victim to the nasty cold and flu bugs that were going around. But the CDC is reporting that another spike in flu cases is on the way and that the flu vaccine is not well matched to the viral strains circulating this year. Good thing you know that there are so many more important health saving measures you can take, other than the vaccine! Here are my Top 5 Ways to Beat the Flu and come out on top this year:
1) Wash your hands often with warm water and soap and skip the hand sanitizer. The friction from washing your hands, in combination with the warm soapy water does all you need to kill off the cold and flu bugs. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are very drying and can damage the integrity of your skin, which is your first line of defense against the cold and flu viruses. I wash my hands before I eat anything, every time I enter the house/work, and between patients. Finding a great natural moisturizer like coconut oil helps keep your skin hydrated.
2) Drink at least 8 cups of water/day. Proper hydration keeps your mucus membranes moist and flushes out your system. Plain water, herbal decaf tea and smoothies all count towards your fluid intake. Avoid juice and pop as these are high in sugar and can suppress your immune system and provide food for viruses. Limit caffeinated beverages like coffee, black tea and green tea as these are diuretics and can be dehydrating.
3) Focus your diet on vegetables (can be fresh or frozen) and lean proteins. Vegetables are high in antioxidants which boost your immune system. Try to include a wide variety of colourful vegetables. Choose clean proteins like wild salmon, turkey, legumes and chicken to support a healthy immune system. For bonus points, try making your own bone broth from beef or chicken/turkey bones plus vegetables like onion and garlic- this is GREAT for fuel your immune system. Find a recipe here: http://www.drfranklipman.com/5-reasons-to-add-bone-broth-to-your-diet/
4) Have an Immune Boosting Injection. I suggest having this injection in early October and again in January. I use a homeopathic general immune booster, plus Vitamin B12. This gives your immune system and energy a jumpstart and helps protect you against any cold or flu virus that you might come into contact with. It is great as part of a Naturopathic flu prevention plan or for anyone who has also chosen to get the flu vaccine. The injection is quick and virtually painless.
5) Take Vitamin D. Our neck of the woods doesn’t get much sunshine from October- March, which means that Vitamin D isn’t getting activated in our skin. Hang on a minute, isn’t flu season also from October-March? What a coincidence! Well, not really- Vitamin D is a fabulous immune booster, in addition to being great for bone health and mood support. Adults should be taking 2000IU/day with a meal from October to March. If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D) or have recurrent colds or flus you should have your Vitamin D levels checked because there is a good chance you are Vitamin D deficient. MSP no longer covers Vitamin D testing, so I offer this test in clinic for just $75. http://rmalab.com/medical-laboratory-tests/environmental-nutritional/d-spot
If you are interested in having an immune boosting injection or receiving a personalized flu prevention and treatment plan, please give us a call to book in.