How are you preventing the flu and other common colds & viruses this season?
I know what I am doing… and it does not include any flu vaccinations. The one and only time I got the flu vaccine was my first year as a public school teacher. And guess what? Yep, I got the flu. Have I mentioned that I do not like to puke –at any cost. So, suffering through the flu after getting the vaccine was not cool.
The flu vaccine from 2012 only prevented strains from Influenza Type A & B. This only represents a small number of circulating viruses – about 10%. I am not a statistics major by any means but this low percentage doesn’t add up for me. With this low percentage, there is not a huge value to the public. It does not greatly impact the number of people hospitalized by the flu or lower the number of work days lost to the flu. Just research the adverse effects of the Tamiflu. Dr. Mercola states, “However, some patients with influenza are at increased risk for secondary bacterial infections when on Tamiflu, which of course would defeat the plan of being able to jump out of bed a day sooner. Furthermore, adverse events reported include pediatric deaths, serious skin reactions, and neuropsychiatric events, including suicide committed while delirious…” Yikes! The most important lesson here is to do your research and carefully weight the risks and benefits from any vaccination or medication.
After weighing the risks and benefits for my family and I, clean eating and essential vitamins/minerals are the way we will avoid the flu and other colds this year.
Here are some easy things you can do at home to avoid the flu:
- GARLIC. Yes, garlic! Several compounds in garlic are known to kill many organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Taking garlic daily for 3 months will seriously reduce the number of colds and shorten the duration of any colds you may end up experiencing. Check out this recipe for a garlic clove soup guaranteed to knock out any viruses or bacteria in your body
- Cut back on grains and sugar. Both of these will cause systemic inflammation in your body and lower your immune response. Bad bacteria feed on sugar, too. Replace these with fresh vegetables and fruits! These contain vital nutrients to have your body working at 100%.
- Get more sleep. 7-8 hours every night! Lack of sleep will also adversely affect your immune system. Maybe the universe is smarter than us… more hours of dark = more hours to sleep, hmmm?
- Get more exercise. I can personally attest to this fact. Staying active with 3 boys and CrossFitting on a regular basis keep me energized and healthy.
- Lessen emotional stress. This is the hardest for most with the Holiday season quickly approaching next week. But, saying “No” is freeing and allows you to lower this stress. Make it a point to surround yourself with those that truly appreciate your mind, gifts, and talents. Oh, and LOVE more. Oxytocin, the love hormone, is great for releasing emotional stress. It is also contagious, so spread the love and oxytocin.
- Drink more WATER! Good, pure water. Not water made into tea or coffee. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day. Sounds like a bunch, but you will notice a difference in toxin release, energy, and skin appearance.
- Vitamin D3. New research comes out almost daily about the value of Vitamin D in our health. As these nights grow longer and our chance to get good sun exposure disappears during Winter, it is important that we keep our levels up. Vitamin D is an antimicrobial agent. It helps produce up to 300 antimicrobial peptides in your body that can help kill off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If there is a sunny, cloudless day and you can expose large portions of your body, DO IT! The real stuff is the best. The real stuff comes from the sun. If this is not an option, you should seriously consider supplementing. Most adults can safely take up to 8,000 IUs per day of Vitamin D3. Children can safely take up to 35 IUs per pound of body weight per day. Supplementation of Vitamin D3 means that you need to also supplement Vitamin K2. This vitamin is necessary to help process the Vitamin D and create healthy bones and heart. For every 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D3, you should take 100 micrograms of Vitamin K2. We are all individuals and our levels will be different. If you are unsure of your Vitamin D levels, you can submit to a blood test to determine these levels. Ask your care provider or order a Vitamin D testing kit online.
- Get adjusted! Chiropractic care is important to the central nervous system health. Chiropractors are experts in realigning the bones in your vertebral column to reduce any spinal nerve interruption. These misalignments are called subluxations. Healthy spine equates to a healthy body. If you are local, make an appointment to see the hubby at Atlantic Coast Chiropractic. If you are not local, visit his website at http://www.vbchiro.com for articles and more information on how Chiropractic can help you and your family.
Stay Healthy this Winter!