Preventing the Flu

Flu season is the worst!  According to the news, this is a particularly nasty season. Is there anything we can do? It may seem like we have no control if someone near us sneezes or coughs. But some people just don’t seem to get sick. What is their secret?

I believe in keeping the immune system in the best shape and to eliminate exposure as much as possible. Please know that my only expertise is with working in a school and being a mom. Please talk with your own doctor to get their best advice about flu prevention including flu shots and supplements.

Supplements

Elderberries contain both vitamins A and C and is said to have antioxidant properties which help neutralize the activity of viruses. Whether it’s elderberry syrup or lozenges, they all seem to help. I personally like these products from Sambucus: gummies for kids, syrup or lozenges.

Vitamin C and Zinc are known to help the immune system fight off infections so it may help stave off viruses or at least shorten their duration.  Here’s two that I like:  Ester-C and Garden of Life Zinc.

Vitamin A may help with healthier mucus membranes, which in turn, help prevent a virus from entering the body.

Echinacea also works on strengthening the immune system. I am not personally a fan but I know several people that swear by it.

One of my favorite products is Manuka Honey which is produced in New Zealand by bees and manuka flowers.  Methylglyoxal is an antibacterial compound found in most types of honey but manuka honey has more, giving it more medicinal effects.  The higher the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), the more beneficial the honey should be.  Although pricey, I usually try to get at least 10 UMF and only use a half teaspoon at a time so it lasts a long time.  I don’t know if heat affects the honey’s properties so I don’t mix it with tea or cook with it.

Humidifiers

I swear by my humidifier.  Besides the obvious benefits of preventing dry skin or damage to wood, humidifiers make it more difficult for bacteria and viruses to spread.  Winter’s dry air can affect your sinuses which may lower your resistance to the flu.  A great cost benefit is that humid air feels warmer so you may not have to use as much heat.  Here’s one I’ve been using this year and it really seems to make a difference.  Please look into antimicrobial solutions like this one and keep extra filters available.

Other Factors

We all know that lack of sleep and stress does decrease your body’s ability to fight off the flu and other viruses. We also know that eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is also important. But, did you know that eating something with a lot of sugar may depress your immune system for several hours? This window can be open just long enough for the flu virus to take hold.

I hate to get overzealous about germs, but during flu season, it just seems smart to pay a little extra attention and try to keep the immune system as healthy as possible.  Did you know that the average person touches their face about 16 times an hour?   Or how about the fact that soap dispensers are among the dirtiest objects you can touch?  In order to limit my exposure whenever possible, this is the season that I often get my groceries delivered.  Please see the blog, Grocery Delivery Services, for the some great time and cost saving options.

Be well, everyone!

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