#HealthTip #Tuesday @STaunyas
The season is upon us where that nasty flu virus is making its rounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this year’s strain is influenza A (H3N2). The flu has become more and more challenging over the years. People can get really ill. This is especially true for the really young, elderly, and those with an immunity-compromising health condition. Since flu is caused by a virus, you can’t treat it with antibiotics. The respiratory system is the prime target. Another virus common to this season can cause stomach issues, but it is not the same as the flu virus. I want to share some ways that you can protect yourself this season. You just need to make a few adjustments.
Build Immunity with Nutrition
Building your immunity is one of the first things you want to do. The best way to build your immunity is with the foods you eat every day. Foods that will give your system a boost include broccoli, citrus fruits for the vitamin C, red bell peppers, spinach, almonds for the vitamin E, and yogurt for the active cultures. A host of other foods are great immunity supports beyond those I have mentioned, but this is a good starting staple list. My general rule is to eat or drink green as much as possible.
Water is another important element to add to the list. Some people don’t get enough water in any season. Lack of water intake will be especially problematic during flu season. Being hydrated keeps your body systems functioning properly. When the respiratory tract is dry, mucous production is low. Mucous plays a role in protecting the lungs by capturing particles that may enter through the nose. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces to be fully hydrated daily.
Supplemental Support with Supplements
If you are one who has difficulty getting your protection from food, supplements are an option. Always do your homework, and read the labels to see the dosage in what vitamins and minerals are being offered. A couple of the common inclusions that have shown benefits for cold and flu are vitamin C and zinc. Most supplements come in pill form, but may come packaged as a powder or liquid. See what form works for you. Just remember mega doses is not the way to go. Your body can only handle so much. Often, your body will eliminate the extra.
Herbal teas are great during the Fall and Winter seasons. There are a variety to choose from. Green tea and Ginger tea are my favorite for flu and colds. Some warm tea with honey and lemon can soothe a sore throat. The warm vapors from the tea can bring relief to nasal passages. My cupboard is stocked with lemon, ginger, green tea and black tea during this season. Real cinnamon sticks and honey add flavor but also are packed with health benefits as well. You never know when you will wake up in the middle of the night and need a cup. That’s one late trip to the store you won’t have to make.
Hand washing is always the first line of protection for everyone. We touch our eyes and face more than we know. We can’t know what germs lay on surfaces at work, school, or in stores we visit. We can arm ourselves with knowledge of a few tips to get us through the season.
Tips for the season:
- Wash your hands several times a day when you are at work or away from home.
- Keep some hand sanitizer handy in the car and around for small kids. It doesn’t replace hand washing, but is a quick germ killer.
- Get plenty of rest.
- When taking care of others with the flu, wear a mask and quarantine them away from others that are well.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids, primarily water.
- If you get the flu, stay home and take care of yourself.
- Keep a container of antiviral wipes in the house and use them often to wipe down surfaces including door knobs, game controllers, computer keyboards, refrigerator and microwave handles, and sink controls.
Take care of yourself this flu season. Know that you always have options when it comes to your health. The goal is to make your body as resistant as possible to disease. Make health a daily habit. Make it a lifestyle especially in seasons like these when your body is under attack.
[Taunya is nurse, author, and a three-year homeschool veteran. She is currently working on two books, the 3rd in the Brady Boe series, and Truth–the first in the End Time Saga Trilogy. #ReadTSW at taunyasBnB.com]