There are common sense preventative measures that you can take to cut your risk of getting the flu:
Staying away from people with coughs and sniffles
Washing your hands often
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables
Getting enough sleep
And you can help stop the spread of flu by staying home if you are sick (except for trips to the doctor.)
There are also a number of foods and vitamins that will help you prevent the flu, or help you reduce the effects of the symptoms and the duration of your attack should you get the flu.
Foods that strengthen your immune system –
Almonds, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, cashews, celery, chicken, chocolate, citrus fruits, garlic, dark greens, eggs, fruits, garlic, green tea, mango, meat, mushrooms, onion, peaches, peanuts, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potato, tomato, tomato products, walnuts, watermelon.
Essential nutrients to bolster your immune system include – Anti-oxidants (especially vitamins C & E and lycopene), Vitamin A, Vitamin D (get out in the sun a little!), Omega 3s, folate, protein, magnesium, and zinc.
It is vitally important to get exercise and reduce stress. Exercise reduces stress, so the two go hand in hand. Breathing exercises and Yoga help too.
Foods that act as anti-viral-
Apple, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cayenne, garlic, herbs, honey, lemon, mustard, onion, plums, raspberries.
Foods that help you reduce your flu symptoms and duration –
Garlic, Echinacea, Cayenne pepper, Lemon juice (fresh), Tomato Juice, Orange juice, Vitamin C, Ginger, Green tea, Chicken Soup.
Use steam or humidifier.
If you know you have been exposed to flu, don’t wait for symptoms. Start your attack right away – eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking orange juice and green tea, and taking your vitamins – especially vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc. It’s no coincidence that flu season starts when we have less exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is very important.
And please, if you are feeling sick – stay home. Do not go to school, or to work, or to the mall. I don’t want to catch it!