Five simple ways to help prevent the flu
Give yourself the best chance against the flu, this year and every year, by doing some or all of these things daily:
1. ELDERBERRY. Research shows elderberry inhibits pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including the flu specifically. I’ve been using this recipe for elderberry syrup, which kids and grownups alike can enjoy.
2. VITAMIN D, which plays a role in keeping the immune system functioning well has also been shown to help protect against the flu. The standard recommendations are that adults take 600 – 800 IUs daily. But many people are deficient in vitamin D, and higher doses are often recommended. Here’s one brand of D drops that’s easy to find and use (and that does not contain questionable additives):
3. SLEEP. OK, this might not seem like a “simple” tip in today’s much-too-busy culture, but it’s a really powerful defense nonetheless. If you can simplify your life in order to take care of yourself and prioritize sleep, you won’t get sick as much. One study showed that participants who slept fewer than seven hours a night before they were exposed to a cold virus were three times more likely to get the cold than the volunteers who slept eight hours or more before the exposure. Presumably, we’d see a similar protective effect when it comes to the flu (but I doubt researchers would have much luck finding volunteers to be exposed to influenza!)
4. GARLIC. It's been used for centuries to keep people well, and studies show it is a valid go-to to combat sickness. Eating a small dose of raw garlic mixed with honey is super powerful, but can be a little much for some people to stomach. Another method is to simply incorporate garlic (and onions for good measure and taste!) into more dishes. I love heaps of sautéed garlic and caramelized onions alongside just about anything—eggs, cooked vegetables, sweet potatoes, rice, meat, etc. Make a garlic-onion side or topping by chopping fresh garlic and then letting it sit exposed to the air for about 10 minutes. Then cut your onion and sauté it in butter (or olive oil or coconut oil—just not vegetable oil). Once your onions have cooked for 5 minutes or so, add the garlic and continue to let it all cook together, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized.
5. GINGER. A cozy, tasty way to get your ginger is to make a routine of drinking ginger tea with honey (and add some fresh lemon juice for extra flavor and prevention). Make it a habit as a mid-morning beverage break or serve a round for everyone when the kids get home from school.
Good luck out there! And for more self-care tips like these, see my books on Amazon or at www.takecareguide.com/store. Sign up for notice when my Food and Movement books are available by entering your email address into the chocolate brown updates field on my homepage (scroll down a bit to find it): www.takecareguide.com