October 11, 2016
Flu season is here again, and even if you get a flu shot, the strain you catch may not be one covered by your vaccine. So, it’s time to get reacquainted with the natural flu fighters recommended by doctors and health care pros, because the change in seasons means more than leaves turning gold and pumpkin spice lattes! And who wants to be sick, right?
In addition to avoiding sneezers and coughers, washing your hands A LOT (the number one preventative!) and getting regular exercise, try one or more of these methods to avoid catching a cold or the flu this season:
Eat Cold Water Fish
Omega-3s have been shown to increase airflow and protect lungs from colds and respiratory infection. Not only that, they increase the activity of phagocytes – cells that help strengthen your immune system. Aim for at least 600 mg daily.
Take 250 mg astragalus a day. This ancient Chinese herb stimulates the immune system and seems to be highly effective at fighting colds and flu.
Avoid Sweets and Alcohol
Consumed in excess, these can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs – like a flu virus!
Irrigate Those Nostrils!
Admittedly not the most pleasant experience, nasal irrigation may be one of the most under-appreciated medical devices for flu prevention. You can buy a saline squeeze bottle at the drug store or grocery store, with prepackaged salt packets to dissolve in warm distilled water to flush out germs and irritants.
Moisturize the Air
Running a humidifier or warm-mist vaporizer in your bedroom can thin nasal and bronchial secretions and keep things moving. The dry air from central heating can thicken mucus and trap germs in your nasal passages and from there it’s a short distance to infection!
Flu Prevention Vitamins
Vitamin C can help prevent viral infections and strengthen the body’s immune system but it’s not a cure-all. And according to a Harvard study, Vitamin D has shown a greater capability to boost immunity and prevent colds. People suffering from lower levels of Vitamin D are 36% more likely to contract upper respiratory infections!
Natural Flu Remedies
If a virus has its way with you and makes you miserable with head, neck and chest congestion, sneezing, coughing and a sore throat, try one of these.
Chicken soup is a tested and true natural flu fighting trifecta, stopping white blood cells (neutrophils) from congregating and causing inflammation, preventing the over-production of mucus, and thinning mucus.
- Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup destroys germs outright as it stimulates natural killer cells, which are in the immune system’s arsenal of germ-fighters.
- Spiking your soup with red (chili) pepper flakes increases the broth’s decongestant power.
Drink water, lots of it, eight or more eight-ounce glasses a day to keep mucus membranes moist and thin mucus so that it’s easier to expel.
A good old-fashioned mustard plaster can ease chest congestion. Mix one part dry mustard to 10 parts flour and enough warm water to make a paste, then slather it on your chest. You can repeat this once daily for three days.
Drink a cup of ginger tea. Ginger helps block the production of substances that cause bronchial congestion and stuffiness, and it contains compounds call gingerols, which are natural cough suppressants.
Stiff-Arm The Flu!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and your friends at Richmond American Homes and Village Homes hope these tips help you stay healthy and energized all winter long! Pay us a visit this season and we’ll show you the latest in new home designs!