Is it time to prepare for the annual battle to prevent flu and to fight its many annoying symptoms. Or perhaps you're just looking for a natural health boost and a little more energy?
-Whether the symptoms are from the newest seasonal flu strain, Swine flu (H1N1), or even just the good old common cold, they can certainly make your life miserable for a time.
But there are many simple things that you can do, and natural ways that you can strengthen your immune system, to help you to put up the good fight and maybe get a little healthier at the same time!
-Herbs: Get to know them, and I don't mean my brother Herb and my other brother Herb. Natural herbs have been used for hundreds of years to fight digestive problems, mental health issues, and sexual health problems, not to mention the latest strain of influenza A.
Herbs can also be taken either in supplements, tinctures or even in teas for natural flu prevention.
-Echinacea: This herb has long been known for its immunity boosting qualities, and in helping to fight against colds and prevent flu. You can take it before, or even while you have the flu.
If taken during a bout with the flu, the symptoms may often be reduced in their severity, as well as in their duration.
-Garlic: Eating fresh garlic or steeping it into a tea can help to break up chest congestion; help with bronchitis and other respiratory issues. It is also believed to lower blood pressure and help with high cholesterol. -Who knew?
Add some to all your meals. It's a delicious seasoning and additive for virtually any food and another fantastic immune system booster. Garlic has been used fresh to fight many infections in the body.
If eaten raw, it's also great for keeping your enemies away. (and your friends -your breath, whoa!)
-Get Plenty of Sleep:
To prevent flu and be at your tip-top best, your body needs time to repair itself. For most of us, this is usually 6 - 8 hours minimum.
Without this proper amount of sleep, the body's natural flu prevention abilities are impaired, as well as its ability to fight stress and disease.
-Reduce Your Stress Levels:
Yoga: Try Yoga, it emphasizes the body and mind connection that helps you to control your body instead of the reverse. Your body's immune system can break down under all the stresses of daily life.
And too much stress can leave you seriously vulnerable to colds and make it that much harder on your system to prevent flu.
-Ginseng: Did you know that ginseng is quite effective in reducing stress? And when you reduce stress, your immune system is stronger and can better focus on protecting the body from cold bugs and prevent flu.
Its use has been attributed to increasing your energy levels as well.
*Keep those Hands Clean:
Washing your hands is probably the single most important thing you can do for natural flu prevention, and to prevent the flu from spreading.
-You hear it over and over, and for good reason ....it works!
Prevent flu and reduce the spread of germs by washing your hands often, washing vigorously with warm soapy water, getting in-between fingers and especially around the cuticles and fingernails, where germs like to hide.
If you can't always wash, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, or better yet, take hand sanitizers along with you. (Sanitizers use alcohol to kill germs, so you'll need moisturizer to soften those dry hands too!)
*Cover Your Nose and Mouth:
Same thing here, it really does work.
-Use lots of tissue, and if you have no tissue, sneeze into the crook of your arm and cover your mouth when you cough, your germs will remain yours, and you're less likely to spread any germs.
This might not help you very much, if others aren't doing it as well.
-It may sound simple, but if someone sneezes or is coughing near you, give them some space; it may just save you a lot of misery later.
Teach your kids all these techniques as well; After all, they're very likely to be the ones you catch the flu from in the first place!
-It's been said, "You are what you eat"- and when it comes to boosting your immune system, there's a lot of truth in that. Maintaining a well-balanced healthy diet can sure go a long way towards that goal.
There are many foods that can really help stimulate the immune system, because they contain vitamins and minerals that help your body to fight infections. (see 10 healthiest foods)
-These foods contain minerals such as potassium, vitamins like vitamin C especially, and B as well as folic acid. You can find these in oranges and all citrus fruits, bananas, leafy greens and many other vegetables.
Add as many to your diet as possible for natural flu prevention, and a delicious and healthy boost to the system.
-Antioxidants: also help boost your body's natural immunity. These are substances that can actually help fight the aging process.
Free radicals bombard healthy cells daily, causing not only premature aging, but they may also cause diseases like cancer. Foods that contain antioxidants include: blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples, and squash.
They all contain healthy fun-loving lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin B and flavonoids for the best in natural flu prevention around.
-Goji berries: They're another of the super-foods on the market today, along with Acai berries and Mangosteen. These also have powerful antioxidants.
-These can all be found as ingredients in health food juices, either alone or in combination with other super-foods. Look for them on the label.
-Bee pollen: Bee pollen is another natural super-food. It's extremely high in protein, has over a dozen vitamins and fatty acids, 11 enzymes and co-enzymes, and 28 minerals to give you more ammunition to prevent flu, colds, and to keep you feeling fine.
But to be safe, get a tolerance test before starting any new regimen. (small doses increased slowly)
see health benefits of honey
Make Exercise an Everyday Part of Your Life:
The benefits of exercise are many, and a strong, healthy body is important at any age. You don't have to workout 4 hours a day either.
-Twenty minutes or so of moderate exercise every day, (Or 40 minutes every other day) with a couple of days a week to do some muscle strengthening, and you'll be one healthy individual.
You can't always prevent flu, but the healthier you are, the less severe the symptoms will be, should you find yourself infected.
-Get some Fresh Air:
This may sound rather simple, but many of us spend most of the day inside at work (especially in winter), rarely getting outside during the week.
-Try to fit in some exercise time outside when possible. Clean, fresh air with plenty of oxygen, it can really work wonders for the body, and clear the mind.
The vitamin D from all that great sunshine doesn't hurt either.
A brisk walk after dinner can work wonders for the body and mind.
Stay Well Hydrated:
-Drink plenty of water and fruit juices. (100% juice if possible)
This is especially important during strenuous exercise.
If your urine is dark, it is a sure sign you need to drink a lot more fluids, the clearer the urine is, the better! -Check out the benefits of drinking water.
It is recommended that you drink as many as 8 or more, 8 ounce glasses every day. Unless you work as a bathroom monitor, this may not always be practical, but drink as much as you can.
-Planning your intake for more convenient times during your day will help flush the toxins from the body and keep you healthy and happy.
-Antivirals: Such as Tamiflu and Relenza (though not included in our "natural" list of flu preventives), may prevent flu symptoms from starting in the first place, but they are often in short supply.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made up the following test, see how much you really know about the flu.
-And of course, whether you've started your natural regimen or not, getting the seasonal and other current flu vaccine is always an good option.
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