With the flu hiding around every corner, the spread of panic isn’t far behind and knowing flu vaccinations are not effective and puts you and your family at risk of side effects. However, the flu does not have to be inevitable for you or your family and can be avoided naturally by strengthening your immune system.
Get sufficient rest and sleep
Tiredness, rather than exposure to virus, is probably the single biggest "cause" or contributing factor in getting the flu. Most likely from too much work or partying.
So when you do get the flu, you want to rest and sleep all the time. Just as inadequate rest increases your chances of getting the flu, adequate rest improves your chances of a fast recovery. Rest is very important.
With regards to sleeping, it is important to sleep before midnight. There are various explanations for this. Some people talk about cosmic energies re-charing your body during the period before and after midnight. Traditional Chinese Medicine talks about certain organs being more active at different times. It is different if you sleep, eight hours from 10pm to 6am, versus eight hours from 2am to 10am.
Consuming colorful wholesome food
Eating a wide variety of fresh, wholesome foods packed with vitamins and minerals is the first step to ensuring a strong immune system. Vitamins A, B6, C and E and the minerals zinc, iron, copper and selenium are critical for maintaining strength and immunity. Make sure that your diet consists of a colorful range of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you are getting all of the necessary nutrients. Supplementing your diet with a daily multivitamin will fill the gaps where your diet falls short and should be an essential part of your health regime. During cold and flu season, increase your dosage of vitamin C for added virus fighting benefits. Should you still become sick, studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants in vitamin C can reduce both the symptoms and duration of the flu.
Understand how to deal with stress
Tiredness is a form of stress. Other forms of stress, like worrying, feeling unable to cope with job demands, financial problems or being unhappy in a relationship. All these will not only increase your risks of the flu, but also your risks of more serious ailments like cancer and heart disease.
There are many ways to deal with stress such as meditation, relaxation exercises, a walk in the park, listening to soothing music, playing with children, counseling, engaging in a hobby, etc. Find ways that suit you best.
Most importantly, acknowledge that you may be under stress and do something about it. Pretending that you are in control will only add to the stress and your chances of getting the flu or even getting cancer. Read related article on ‘stress reduction from meditation’
Keep away from sugar
Not just refined white sugar but also other forms of simple sugar is one of the most important substance to avoid if you wish to prevent the flu.
Sugar depresses immune function, particularly the ability of immune cells to destroy bacteria and viruses. This effect kicks in about one to two hours after taking sugar, and it lasts for up to five hours. So if you take sugar several times a day, your immune system will be depressed throughout most of the day.
Many people have the mistaken idea that sugar is necessary for health. Carbohydrates are necessary, but not simple sugars. Even if you do not take sugar directly, it is present in processed foods, soft drinks and lots of other foods. To prevent the flu, one of the first things to do is to drastically cut down your intake of sugar and processed foods. And this does not mean taking artificial sweeteners like aspartame in its place. Artificial sweeteners are a lot more harmful to health. Read related article on ‘know about your sugar’.
Eat more mushrooms
Mushrooms have been found to increase production and activity of white blood cells, improving your chances of fighting off infection. Both shiitake and maitake mushrooms provide the biggest immunity boost.
Eat less meat
History is full of examples of strong men - warriors, kings and emperors, who died at a young age due to infection. They include Alexander the Great, King Henry VIII, Emperor Shih Huang Ti of China and others. During major disease outbreaks like The Plague of the mid-14th century, it was also observed that those affected were mainly strong young men, whereas women, children and the elderly were mostly spared.
People who eat plenty of meat usually have strong bodies, but weak immune systems. Meat weakens immunity in the following ways:
- Meat is high protein. And the main nutrition for microbes is also protein.
- Protein creates an acidic body condition and most harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi thrive in an acidic environment. Read related article on Acidosis.
- Too much uric acid from the digestion of protein weakens the kidneys. The kidneys help immune function by regulating the balance of salt and water, and the balance of acid and alkali.
- Meat lacks many minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre which help the body and the immune system to function smoothly.
- Meat often contains microbes which cause diseases. These are not always destroyed by cooking.
- Heavy meat eaters also tend to have higher sexual appetite and excessive sexual activity weakens the immune system.
Certain foods can give you an extra boost and should be factored into your regular eating habits. Garlic is known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and can prevent infections from taking hold and spreading without side effects. Unlike in the case of drugs, viruses and bacteria do not evolve to become resistant to garlic. A daily serving of two raw garlic cloves will provide you with the bulbous herb's healthy benefits. Read related article on Garlic.
Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes daily can give your immune system the extra kick that it needs. A study conducted by David Nieman at Appalachian State University found that people who walked regularly for 12 weeks had half the number of colds and sore throats as people who were less active.
Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and its harmful effects on the immune system. It has been estimated that 90 percent of illness and disease is stress related. But don’t overdo it! Too much exercise can have the opposite effect on your immune system. Exercising for more than 90 minutes a day could make you more susceptible to the flu virus.
Stay well away from flu vaccinations
When you also consider the toxic mixture of chemicals found in the flu vaccine, the decision is straightforward. Among the vaccine’s ingredients are such toxins as ethylene glycol (a.k.a. antifreeze), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease and known to produce cancer in mice) and thimerosol (a form of mercury, the most toxic of all heavy metals). Thimerosol has had so much scrutiny in the past decade that it has been banned in all childhood vaccinations yet it still remains in the influenza vaccine today. Read related article on ‘educate yourself about the deceiving vaccines’.