Monday, December 9, 2013

Eating to Fight Flu and Colds

Last year, I was the only one in my office who didn't get the flu vaccine and the only one who didn't get the flu. I was militant about making my 'green juice' every morning and washing my hands. I'm pretty sure the vigorous hand washing helped me, but I'm positive the green juice and attention to a healthy diet saved me.

What is the flu? The Influenza virus affects you by latching onto your normal cells and programming them with the flu virus RNA. The virus then replicates and affects other cells causing inflammation, mucus production, cough, congestion, headache, fever, fatigue, body aches. The virus that causes the flu is not the same as a cold, but produces similar symptoms. Usually the flu is accompanied by a fever. The most important treatment for the flu or cold is to stay hydrated, preferably with an isotonic solution (water with salt). If you're unable to keep fluids down, then you need to see your doctor.

Here is a recipe for making your own 'vitamin' water at home:

It is also imperative you eat foods that help your body fight the virus as well as getting plenty of rest. If your symptoms stick around longer than a week or you have a persistent fever, see your doctor.
According to Sandra Brougher, HCC, AADP here are ten foods that can help you boost your immune system:

1. Bone Broth- full of absorbable minerals
2. Pumpkin seeds- high in zinc and omega-3, both essential for a healthy immune system
3. Cold water fish- good source of protein and omega- 3
4. Fresh fruits and vegetables - beets, carrots, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene
5. Liver- a natural multi-vitamin
6. Ginger- anti-viral properties (drinking a few cups of ginger tea is key)
7. Garlic - has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
8. Honey -raw - anti-viral
9. Green tea- the ultimate anti-oxidant with anti-viral properties
10. Mushrooms- elevate flu-fighting agents

Stress, as always, can be an invitation for viruses as well. Make sure you're minimizing your stress level as well as getting high-quality sleep. Sleep is underrated in our culture and it can be a life saver as well as a disease fighter.

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