We all know someone who has been sick in the past month – perhaps you, a family member, or a friend. The media is touting this as an especially bad flu season. What should you do to protect yourself?
Despite all the encouragement to get the flu shot, I do not recommend that as your primary strategy. The flu shot can actually hinder your immune system, as it comes with a nasty dose of mercury that is dangerous to your body.
Our immune systems are always active – examining the pathogens that we encounter in our food, the air we breathe, water we drink, things we touch, etc. to decide whether safe or a threat. If your immune system is strong, most of these “bugs” won’t be an issue. However, our normal lifestyles can work against our immunity and leave us vulnerable.
When you feel less than chipper, it’s not because you were suddenly exposed, but rather that your immune system has become overwhelmed and needs you to focus on supporting it to do its job by:
1. Cleaning up your diet and providing more nutrients – cut back on sugar (which suppresses your immune system) and eat a variety of vegetables and fruit. Add a green smoothie to your meals or snacks, and cut out dairy products which create more mucus that harbors bacteria. And chicken soup can really help – see the recipe I have provided below!
2. Get extra sleep. This isn’t the time to stay up late playing games or watching movies – your body needs the opportunity to clean out the garbage and replenish, which it does while you sleep.
3. Wash your hands frequently! Avoid using soap or hand sanitizers made with Triclosan (an endocrine disruptor). Keep your distance from those who are sick, especially if they are sneezing or coughing.
4. Take a break from stress by lightening up on demands. Breathe and give yourself quiet time. Order your groceries for pickup or delivery to minimize exposure. Let the laundry pile up or take it to be done at the laundromat – just this once. And skip the heavy exercise class – consider a gentle yoga stretch instead.
5. Support your body with immune-boosting nutrients. 500-1000mg of Vitamin C can be a daily preventative measure; but if you are already sick, it’s time to get the big guns out. These can support you for a 3-5 day regimen:
Vitamin C – 3 grams daily in divided doses
Vitamin D3 – 5,000 IU daily
Vitamin A – 10,000 IU daily (retinol palmitate or just beta carotene)
Zinc – 30-50mg daily (not in carbonate form)
Probiotic – Ultimate Flora 30 billion or stronger
Sore throat – take a spoonful of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar several times a day, or spray colloidal silver spray directly in throat 3x/day
You don’t have to succumb to the ravages of this season. Your body is designed to protect itself, but it needs you to provide it with the building blocks for fortification. Your choices in food, rest, hand washing, and activities have a significant influence on your immunity and your wellness.
You, and the people around you, are worth it!