Talk about the flu – and ways to prevent flu – is in the news Big Time. It looks like a nasty case this year and the verdict is out as to whether the vaccine is doing its job. People are getting sick. Very sick. Some areas of the country are much worse than most.
New York’s governor declared a state public health emergency due to the flu outbreak:
New York’s Gov. Cuomo declares state public health emergency in response to severe flu outbreak – @nbcnightlynews
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) January 12, 2013
In hard-hit Boston, the emergency rooms are packed with flu patients and people are rushing to get vaccines.
Here’s a state-by-state snapshot of the flu this year:
What’s it like in your area? Between the flu, runny nose, a stomach virus that spreads quickly, and some intense upper respiratory viruses, our hometown has its fair share. Personally, I didn’t get the vaccine. But I am actively trying to prevent it.
Ways to Prevent Flu
We know the standard prevention measures you will find if you search how to prevent any contagious illness. Wash your hands frequently, cough into your arm, drink liquids, get lots of rest, and stay away from other people. These are all good things to do.
The other thing you can do is to build your immune system so that it is strong enough to fight off invaders like the flu, colds, coughs, sore throats and other infections or viruses. One important way to build your immune system is also on the list above: rest. When you get good sleep at night it has many health benefits, including a healthier immune system.
What I do all year long to keep my immune system strong is to take all-natural supplements. Just like you take a daily medication EVERY DAY so that it helps with the medical problem you have, it’s important to take your supplements every day to get the results you want.
Your cells are replicating every day. What you feed your cells determines your health. There are immune boosting supplements that can help make your immune system strong, and most have other health benefits as well. You will find more than what we talk about here. A few are zinc and garlic and various antibiotics. Let’s look at a few that I use all the time specifically for my immune system, and can give testimony that they help.
Your body can’t make or store Vitamin C. It has been called the “do-everything” nutrient and has health benefits in almost every part of your body. Vitamin C is a water soluble Vitamin – that’s the part that means your body won’t store it. So it is most beneficial to take a sustained release supplement that gets released into your body over time.
There is lots of scientific research about the immune building benefits of Vitamin C, and how it helps to increase production of infection-fighting white blood cells in your body, and also antibodies like interferon that coat the cell surfaces to help prevent viruses from entering your cells.
In the last couple of years chances are you have heard lots about Vitamin D. That’s because doctors, through routine patient blood tests, are finding many people very low or deficient in this nutrient. It’s very hard to get enough through your diet, especially if your levels are already low.
Dr. Oz states that if there was one vitamin that he could push to every American, it would be Vitamin D. The more we use sunscreen, the more your body inhibits making Vitamin D, and also as we age we get less efficient converting Vitamin D. Your immune systems benefit when you use this vitamin because it activates genes that help you fight viruses like the flu. Vitamin D works in your respiratory cells to boost respiratory immunity, and also can help with the pain and misery associated with the flu by having an effect on inflammation.
Did you know that somewhere between 70 and 90% of your immune system is in your colon. Probiotics help colon health and immune system health. When you take probiotics it is essential that they are delivered LIVE to your colon, the only place they will be beneficial. Many probiotic brands can deliver at most 10% of what’s on the label. The good news is that it’s so easy to take a tiny, triple encapsulated capsule that transports live beneficial bacteria safely through the acidic conditions of your stomach – all the way to your colon. And you get lots of digestive benefits as well.
From the Shaklee website: Optiflora Probiotic uses a patented triple-layer encapsulation technology. Three layers of encapsulation protect live probiotics. Optiflora is a unique, two-product system (Optiflora Prebiotic Complex and Optiflora Probiotic Complex) that provides dietary support for the normal, healthy balance of intestinal microflora. It promotes colon health by supporting the growth of healthy microflora naturally found in the colon.* It also delivers guaranteed live probiotics Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus, along with the prebiotics FOS and inulin and provides gammatocopherol, a nutrient associated with colon health.*
Quite possibly the most potent immune building supplement is an herbal blend that will naturally increase interferon in your body. Scientists and medical communities have identified interferon as critical to healthy immune function
NutriFeron from Shaklee is the only dietary supplement in the U.S. created by the discoverer of interferon that naturally increases the production of interferon in your body. What’s great is that there are no side effects like those associated with interferon medications. Nutriferon works at the cellular level – helping your cells be healthier so they can better resist all kinds of illnesses.
From the Shaklee website: Contains MACH*, a patented blend of interferon-boosting plant extracts (500 mg) and a Shaklee exclusive. This proprietary blend of natural plant extracts is derived from pumpkin seeds, safflower flowers, plantago seeds, and Japanese honeysuckle flower buds, which have been clinically proven to support and stimulate the natural immune response process at the cellular level.*
Last.. but not least.
I can’t forget about Echinacea. This is an immune boosting herbal supplement that you don’t use every day. When you do feel something ‘coming on’, or you are directly exposed to an illness, or maybe you are unusually tired – which can signal that you are going to get sick or your body is trying to fight off something – this is when you take Echinacea.
It can help your body respond to seasonal challenges by giving your immune system what it needs to stay strong. To supercharge your immune system when you feel that first tickle, I take six tablets a day for five to seven days. I can’t speak for all brands because there is the issue of ingredient quality. You need the active part of the echinacea plant to get the best results. Another reason to choose your brand wisely! To learn more about Shaklee’s occasional immune boosting echinacea blend visit: Defend & Resist.