Every week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues aWeekly Influenza Surveillance Report which shows how many cases of influenza (the flu) are reported by state and U.S. territory for the previous seven days. In the first week of December there were sixteen states with “widespread” flu issues, making it important that you know how to keep yourself free from the virus strains currently sweeping their way across the nation. The best way to do this is naturally, which means engaging in some relatively easy-to-manage behaviors.
In an article published by The Clarion-Ledger, registered dietician and nutritionist Rebecca Turner stresses the importance of consuming probiotics to help make your immune system strong enough to fight off the flu. These substances have other benefits as well, such as lowering your risk of major medical conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis, which makes adding them to your diet advantageous to you in a number of ways. Her recommended list of probiotic-containing foods that you’ll want to eat more of includes Greek yogurt and any food items “that contain Lactobacillus bacteria.”
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and selenium are all nutrients that can help boost your immunity. Therefore, Turner recommends getting your recommended amounts of them via the foods you eat versus buying them in pill or powder form. This is particularly helpful to remember this time of year as a lot of the fruits and veggies that contain these vitamins and minerals (such as red peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli) aren’t consumed at as high rates as they typically are in the warm summer months.
Because germs are easily spread from your hands to the rest of your body by way of your eyes, nose, and mouth, the CDC suggests not touching these areas with your fingers, possibly preventing the flu bug from entering your system. It also indicates that the flu virus can survive on certain surfaces up to eight hours, which means that even if an infected person touched the same item several hours prior, you can still potentially catch the flu from them long after they are gone.
Psychology Today noted a study conducted by the National College of Chiropractic which “found that disease-fighting white blood cell counts were higher just 15 minutes after chiropractic manipulation was applied to the back.” So, engaging in regular chiropractic care can also help keep you naturally healthy by boosting your white blood cells post-treatment.
Do these four things and you’ll increase your chances of staying flu-free this year—and every year thereafter.
Gilbert, K. (2006, August 24). Immune boost: this is spinal zap. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200608/immune-boost-is-spinal-zap
Influenza (Flu). (2014, December). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
Turner, R. (2014, December 12). Keep yourself, family flu free this cold season. The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved from http://www.clarionledger.com/story/life/2014/12/12/keep-family-flu-free-cold-season/20320935/