# Wednesday, November 14, 2012
                 
Natural Flu PreventionGetting the flu is an unpleasant experience that all of us have gone through. In some cases getting the flu can be downright dangerous, especially with elderly people or people that have serious immune system problems.

The first thing that many of us will think of is to get a flu shot. However, flu shots have become a hotly debated topic. Proponents insist that flu shots are a major flu prevention method, while detractors will insist that there is no real empirical evidence that they help prevent the flu, and the mercury and aluminum found in flu vaccines are detrimental to our health. We leave it up to the reader to do their own research when it comes to getting vaccinated for the flu.

This blog article concentrates on natural flu prevention methods, which not only help people battle the flu virus but also help us to feel healthier, stronger and more vital!

Strengthening the Immune System and Diet Considerations

The number one defense against the flu (as well as the common cold) is a strong immune system. In this day and age of fast food many of us have depleted immune systems.

Diet plays a huge role with the immune system. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and swiss chard. Increasing your whole grains intake is also a good idea. Fresh, organic garlic is especially helpful, since it is a natural antibiotic that helps to kill viruses and bacteria. For more information see our Healthy Eating Tips blog article.

Please note that many of the points listed below involve the immune system.

Wash Hands with Soap and Water Often

Wash your hands with soap and water often throughout the day. This is especially important when touching door handles and any surfaces that other people might also handle.

Soap and water do not dry your skin out like hand sanitizers do. However, hand sanitizers do an effective job when it comes to sterilizing your hands. If you use hand sanitizers you might want to consider using some sort of moisturizer.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Many of us often rub our face, eyes or nose throughout the day. The flu virus can enter our body through a body orifice. It is important to avoid doing this, especially if the hands have not been washed recently.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Habits can be hard to break, especially ones we have been doing all our life!

Get Plenty of Rest

Getting sufficient sleep and rest has a major impact on our immune system. When we are tired we feel run down, and this run down feeling is directly related to a weakening of the immune system.

How much rest we need depends on the individual in question. Generally speaking people should get 7-8 hours of sleep a day. If you feel like you might be getting the flu (or the common cold) then extra rest is needed so that the body can effectively fight off the cold or flu virus.

Sneeze or Cough Into Your Sleeve

If you feel a sneeze coming on try to sneeze into your sleeve as opposed to your hands. Sneezing into the hands and then touching a door handle will increase the chances that the next person who touches that door handle will pick up your virus.

Get Physical Exercise

Getting lots of physical exercise promotes overall good health and also boosts the immune system.
People that get lots of physical exercise are less prone to get the flu, and if they do get the flu they tend not to be sick for as long as people who get minimal exercise.

Boost Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C Intake

Vitamin D3 and vitamin C boost the immune system, which helps to fight off the flu.

One of the reasons that the flu season occurs during the winter time is that people do not go outside as often during the winter compared to spring, summer and fall. As a result, they are not getting enough vitamin D3. In addition, the sun is further away from us during the winter time, which results in less D3 being absorbed by the body when we are outside.

Consider getting outside more often in the winter time. It is also a good idea to take supplements during the winter months to help our immune system stay strong.

Avoid White Sugar

Does ingesting white refined sugar depress the immune system? This depends on who you talk to. A study done in 1973 (out of Loma Linda University) found that blood from volunteers fed sugar was less able to fight off bacteria compared to the blood from test subjects that were not fed sugar.

According to the Vitality Clinic (as well as Dr. Mercola), one teaspoon of sugar can depress the immune system for up to 5 hours (this depends on how well the person’s immune system is working).

Regardless, when taking into account all of the other negative effects of white sugar, it is probably best to minimize your intake, especially if you feel like you are coming down with something.

Conclusion

Taking care of our bodies and keeping our immune system strong and healthy helps to avoid getting the flu. In addition, people with strong immune systems that do get the flu tend to be sick for a shorter duration of time compared to people with a compromised immune system.

Diet plays a particularly important role with our overall health. By eating more healthy foods and less junk food not only will you decrease your chances of getting the flu, but you will also feel more vital and alive!

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