This year, reported cases of the flu are highly prevalent – children are getting sent home from school, adults are taking time off of work and some severe cases require hospitalization. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 48 states are reporting widespread flu activity, 30 of which are experiencing high-activity levels of influenza cases.
Understandably, people are scared. No one wants to be sick with the flu. Below we’ve outlined the best ways to support your immune system in order to prevent the flu naturally:
#1: Wash Your Hands
During cold and flu season it’s really important to keep your hands as clean as possible. Any time you return home from running errands, grocery shopping, work, driving in the car or any other instance where you’d be in contact with people, it’s time to scrub a dub dub.
Sleep! Ok, you knew that I was going to go there. I often talk about the important role that sleep plays in optimal health and the case of flu prevention is no exception. Sleep is the body’s natural recovery period when the body repairs itself and reboots the immune system. It is critically important to get enough rest, preferably 8-9 hours per night if you can swing it.
#3: Avoid Sugar and Alcohol
Sugar and alcohol deplete the immune system, even in small amounts. As little as 1 TBSP of sugar will depress the immune system for a few hours.
#4: Support your Immune System with Natural Medicine
There are a few basic supplements that will give your immune system a boost and protect you from the flu. I recommend one tablet weekly of the homeopathic flu prevention tablet, Muco Coccinum (or Oscillococcinum) during cold and flu season. Vitamin C (1 gram, 2x/day), Zinc (30 mg/day) and herbs like Echinacea augustifolia, Melissa officinalis and Lomatium dissectum will further support your immune system to fight the cold and flu.
#5: Avoid Juice, Drink Herbal Tea Instead
There is a common misconception that drinking juice will help prevent the flu. I do not recommend this, as drinking juice causes a spike in blood glucose, which depletes that immune system. Instead, drink herbal or green teas. Throat Coat tea, Immune support tea, Licorice or Chamomile are all excellent choices.
Keeping these tips in mind as you carry on with an already-hectic 2013, will help to give your body what it needs to fight cold and flu viruses. Stay well!