The flu is everywhere this season. News reports say that the flu shots are only 33% effective at most this year. You probably know people who suffered a cold or the flu who told you just how hard it hit them. Are you wondering “How do I stay healthy because I am surrounded by cold and flu germs?” No , you do not need to become a hermit because life goes on. Instead, here are some common sense actions as well as supplement suggestions that can help.
Self defense actions to take during cold and flu season
- Surprisingly the number one thing is get adequate sleep, because sleep keeps our immune system strong. Adequate sleep for most people means getting more sleep. That may mean making a change to give up binge watching your current favorite show on Netflix. Going to bed earlier than usual can make a difference in how strong your immune system is.
- Your brain uses the most energy of any part of your body. When you sleep, more of that energy can be shunted to your immune system for fighting germs.
- Also when you sleep, your brain cleanses itself, then when you awake, it can better function. Not only can it think better, it can more efficiently run all your body’s systems, including your immune system2. Wash your hands a lot. Wash your hands after going shopping or when working. Carry hand sanitizing wipes and use them after shaking hands with others or opening doors etc. Use the wipes provided at the grocery store for their shopping cart handles, especially if you are putting a child in the cart.
2. If you share a phone with others, wipe the hand set with a sanitizer wipe.
3. Avoid sugar. That sugary coffee, doughnut or soda weakens your immune system even if you are not worried about weight. Eating baked goods and drinking alcohol are part of the reason why there is usually an uptick of colds and flu after holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fruit juice is just as bad as soda and coffee in this regard.
More germ defense moves
1. Eat lots of different colors of veggies.
- Orange carrots, sweet potatoes and squash are high in vitamin A also known as the anti-infection vitamin
- Red bell peppers are even higher in vitamin C than oranges. By the way, actual oranges are better for you than orange juice because they also have the beneficial bioflavonoids and less concentrated fruit sugar than the juice.
- Leafy green vegetables are high in B vitamins and minerals. Green foods are a great source of phytonutrients and also have great healing powers. One reason eating your greens can revitalize your health: green foods help blood sugar levels. Very low in sugars and packed with fiber and water, they actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day and they keep you regular. Your body uses bowel movements to cleanse , including getting rid of dead germs.
2. Drink water. If you become dehydrated, your blood thickens. Your white blood cells that kill germs swim through your blood stream to where the germs are attacking you. If you have dehydrated, thick blood, then your white blood cells have a harder time getting to the battlefield to fend off the latest germ attack.
3. Ginger tea and chamomile tea are both mild immune boosters.
What else can you do?
- Most know about taking extra vitamin C and Zinc. But your immune system needs more than those two supplements. Cover all your bases by taking a high quality multiple vitamin with minerals.
- If you have difficulty taking the high potency man-made vitamins usually sold in stores, we carry gentler food based ones that come in the form your body is used to dealing with…. from food.
- High quality vitamins do not have sugars, talc, coal tar colorings or ingredients that are difficult for your body to absorb.
2. You can also boost your immune system year round to fight off flu and cold germs by taking the following herbal supplements:
- Echinacea: boosts your body’s immune function by strengthening your white blood cells. It helps prevent viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. (We carry the MediHerb brand which we feel is guaranteed to have the active ingredients you need.)
- Andrographis for acute infections, especially good for upper respiratory infections. (We like the MediHerb brand because their products are guaranteed to have the active ingredients you need.)
3. Other specialty supplements:
- We carry a Standard Process product called Congaplex, a whole food supplement specifically for infections, viral infections and colds and flus, fevers etc.
- We also carry Sambucus, an elderberry extract that speeds up white blood cells to kill germs. A sweet tasting syrup, it calms coughs and is safe for children.
- A chiropractic adjustment helps your nervous system work as optimally as possible. Your nervous system tells your immune system what to do so you want both to be as healthy as possible.
- Easing aches and pains helps you sleep (see step one of this article)
- We also use special massage techniques to help your lymph nodes kill more germs.
- In the big flu epidemic of 1918 chiropractors were more successful in treating flu cases than medical doctors. You can read more about it here:
The best time to get adjusted is regularly particularly when you just start to feel stiff because the sensation of stiffness is the first sign that something is not working correctly. When you can restore your body to working right you are as strong as possible and that helps your immune system fight off colds and flu.
However, if you do feel ill or run down getting adjusted is a great help to getting better once again.
If you find that you have swollen lymph nodes in your neck it means they are busy fighting germs and getting adjusted will help you get better and feel better more quickly.
Are you achy all over and don’t feel well? It means your body is fighting something off and needs some help. Get adjusted, because it is a powerful and natural way to help your whole body work better to fight off colds and flu and feel better right away!
Need an appointment? Call us today: 978-535-6155.