The art of a healthy, happy life

5 Ways to Help Fend Off the Flu

orangeIt’s flu season in my neck of the woods and boy has it hit with a vengeance! People all around me have been coughing, sneezing, suffering from fevers and chills – and almost everyone I know who’s been sick got the flu shot (not that I’m saying it caused it – just that it didn’t help!)

The good news is that there are some really simple yet extremely effective ways to avoid getting sick.

Here are some of my top recommendations:

1) Wash your hands!
“Oh mom, do I really have to?” YES! Germs are spread through contact, so if you don’t want them on you or in you…you gotta wash them off. Every time you go to the bathroom, touch objects in public places (like door handles, chairs, tables etc.) wash your hands as soon as possible and before touching your face. If running off to the bathroom isn’t feasible – buy yourself a small bottle of hand sanitizer and use it with glee!

2) Drink plenty of water
How much water? Well, a good rule of thumb is to halve your weight (measured in pounds) and – voila – that’s how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily. For example, if you weigh 120lbs, you should be drinking 60oz of water daily – or more if you wish. Water will help keep your body hydrated and your respiratory passages lubricated so that you can flush out all those nasty microbes.

skewers3) Eat wholesome, unprocessed food
Yes, I’m talking about those vegetables! Of course, you should try to eat wholesome, unprocessed foot all the time, but it’s especially important when your body is at its most vulnerable. Give it the best nutrition you possibly can so it has the resources to stay strong and healthy.

4) Check your Vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin your body naturally synthesizes from sunlight. Studies have found it to be important in supporting a healthy, robust immune system. Unfortunately, many of us who live in northern climates often suffer from low vitamin D levels during winter months. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels so you know if you’re deficient – and if so, exactly how much you should supplement. In the interim, most people can safely take a 2,000IU vitamin D supplement (make sure it’s Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) with some vitamin K) each day.

5) Get plenty of rest
This includes time to relax, do activities you enjoy AND time to get a good night’s sleep (ideally around 7 – 8 hours). Chronic stress is one of the biggest threats to your immune system, so don’t allow yourself to run on adrenaline all the time!

Additional tips:

  • Vitamin C can be useful in boosting your immunity and fighting off colds. Citrus is a great natural source of vitamin C – but beware of orange juice, which is loaded with sugar and calories.  A better alternative is lemon juice with warm water (you can use honey or stevia as a sweetener), a whole orange or a vitamin C product like Emergen-C.
  • I’ve personally had great success using colloidal silver whenever I feel the onset of cold/flu symptoms. Silver is great at killing microbes and was commonly used before the discovery of antibiotics. You can find colloidal silver in most health-food stores or online. One note of caution: make sure you follow the directions on the bottle and don’t use it more than a few days.
  • If you do get sick, please do your best to rest and stay home. This will help you feel better more quickly AND you’ll also be a good citizen by not ‘sharing’ your germs.

 

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