Yesterday unfortunately, I spent the majority of my day in bed. I must have come down with something because I had the sweats and the chills. I was vomiting and had horrible stomach pains and an absolute horrible migraine. It was not fun at all.
I knew something was going on Friday because I barely ate – and I love food, Says a previous fat girl. LOL.
Man oh man. No, I have never gotten a flu shot and never had the flu. That was the closest to the flu I’ve gotten in years. But man did I feel horrible.
So I feel this is the perfect time to talk about different ways you can help prevent colds and flu in our transition from Fall to Wintertime.
The influenza virus causes a crazy 32 million missed school days and 100 million missed days of work. Symptoms of the flu are often hard to distinguish from those of a common cold; coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fatigue, general aches, fever and stomach complaints like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are all typical of the flu. And while the flu shot and antiviral drugs may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of influenza, their abilities are limited.
Here are five different ways I have for you to survive this winter’s cold and flu season!!
1. Take Your Vitamins
Both vitamin D3 and vitamin A are powerful players against infections like viruses and bacteria. A Vitamin D3 supplement in children decreased the rate of influenza infection by 50% which is far better than the effects of vaccines or antiviral drugs. Research released in 2011 showed that vitamin A is necessary for many different immune responses to both bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A was shown to inhibit the replication of the measles virus, demonstrating its powerful anti-viral ability.
Winter is the perfect time to add more vitamin A to our diets. You can easily add more Vitamin A to your diet by eating these foods: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and butternut squash. As for vitamin D3, it’s a fat soluble vitamin that can accumulate over time, so you want to be sure to have the right age appropriate dose for you.
2. Consider Supplements
Recent studies demonstrate that elderberry extract has immune-modulating and antioxidant properties that offset the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin and rutin, all of which boost immune function. Elderberry comes in a great tasting liquid syrup form. This helps people like me who HATES taking cough syrup because of it’s nasty taste LOL.
Probiotics have also been repeatedly shown to help prevent infection and decrease the duration and severity of symptoms during the cold or flu. I personally take probiotics each day. Because of working in Health and Wellness, I’ve personally seen a difference in those clients who took a probiotic and those who didn’t. I seen those clients who were taking a probiotic maintain a healthier immune system over those clients who weren’t taking a probiotic supplement. So I truly believe that every one should insure they include Probiotics into their daily lives.
Another great product to take is a Siberian Ginseng supplement. I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE taking this product. This type of ginseng is also very beneficial to the circulatory system. It helps maintain healthy blood circulation, distributing oxygen and other important nutrients efficiently to the body and brain.
This herb is a powerful immune system booster. Many people who take it regularly seldom get sick. It can help the body fight off illnesses like the common cold, flu and others. Without a strong immune system, there is little chance for good health. That’s why taking Siberian Ginseng does such a great job at keeping people healthy. It would be worth taking it for this benefit alone.
Siberian Ginseng is also very popular with people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other forms of exhaustion. It has the ability to relieve tiredness of the mind and body. This isn’t something that happens overnight. This herb should be taken every day, as the effects will increase over time. So go to your local drug store and pick some up!! It’s not that expensive at all!
3. Get Enough Rest
We all know. We have all heard this before. Ensure you get the proper amount of sleep that your body needs. I know we’re all busy, I know we have reasons we need to stay up late at nights. But when it boils down to it… get your REST! Stress is a part of our every day lifestyles. Unfortunately, excessive stress can decrease our immune function, and make it easier for us to come down with an infection. Adults need an average of 7 to 10 hours of sleep nightly while children, depending on their age, need anywhere from 9 to 14 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day. Not getting enough sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting infections.
4. Eat Healthy
Our bodies require many essential nutrients to function properly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps ensure you and your little one are getting all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy immune system.
Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to get the flu. Avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off infections.
5. Wash Up!!!
Washing your hands is one of the best ways for you to limit exposure to the germs that spread colds and flu. Frequent hand washing is recommended. Remember, antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. In fact, antibacterial soaps may contribute to the bacteria’s resistance to antimicrobial agents in the soap, making it harder to treat the germs in the future.
Here’s to a healthy, happy wintertime!
Snuggle up and be warm!