By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Annah Gillette
As a cultural society, we rely on government agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide us with valid information and practices to make health decisions.
Those who are at risk for getting the flu, may want to consider a flu shot, but not without exploring all other options first. A strong immune system — the result of leading a healthy lifestyle — is actually among your best defenses against getting sick or experiencing complications from viral infections like influenza.
Flu vaccines are a guess at what strand will be prevalent in the upcoming flu season. Even with getting a flu shot for prevention may not address the current epidemic at all. The virus is adaptable and mutatable. A healthy robust lifestyle can serve a better purpose than a quick ‘immunization.’ Unlike other diseases treated by immunization shots, the flu is treatable although it makes you feel miserable.
If you feel more susceptible to the colds and the flu this time of year here are some things you can do!
1. Wash your hands. As the temperature drops, we tend to be inside sharing space with others. Try to avoid touching your face if your hands are suspect.
2. Sneeze or cough into your elbow. This reduces the spread of germs keeping the bugs off of your hands.
3. Exercise. Keep your blood moving and producing antiviral cells.
4. Eat more colorful veggies! Add them to soups and scrambles to diversify your microbiome. It’s easy to eat all the holiday treats but still, treat your body to wholesome, nourishing foods.
5. Limit your alcohol. Dehydration can lead to a whole list of problems. Too much can open up the doors for influenza.
6. Sleep. Consistent, restful sleep works wonders on boosting your immune system!
7. Take immune supportive herbs for flu and illness prevention. Alane uses Olive Leaf Extract most days to prevent illness. And if she gets sick, she likes Sambuccus products for mucous and congestion and mushroom herbals for a stronger immune boost during a cold or flu. Also make sure your vitamin D levels are optimal, around a 60 is perfect on bloodwork. Alane will take 20,000 IU – 40,000 Ius of D3 IF she gets a bad cold or virus and then she reduces her daily intake to 5,000 IU a day.
8. Make sure you are only eating the foods your body is ok with. For example, if you do a comprehensive IgG / IgE food allergy panel and chicken is severe then eating chicken may weaken your immune response. Our food allergy test panel tests for around 184 delayed food reactions and 25 immediate food reactions.
Testing which foods are ok with your immune system and boosting you up when the cold weather hits is an easy way to fight any illness, including a flu.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.