The Best Ways to Protect Yourself this Flu Season

Saying this past year has been stressful is a bit of an understatement. With COVID-19 everywhere we may have forgotten about getting the flu, but it’s still out there. This year, many of us may have weakened immune systems, so protecting ourselves is more important than ever during these unprecedented times. While we are all taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, here are some additional ways you can protect yourself from the flu this season as well. 

Avoid Close Contact with Others 

According to the CDC, you should keep your distance from others if you are feeling sick and from those who might be sick. Keeping your distance is important to prevent the spread of the flu and the coronavirus.

While we are all trying to avoid contact with others to avoid getting sick, this doesn’t mean life just stops. Try to see what policies your company has with work from home options during the flu season. Also ordering groceries online and picking them up curbside is a great option to avoid close contact with others.   Most restaurants now offer delivery or curbside pickup as well.

Get Vaccinated 

Every year the flu virus changes and adapts, this is why it’s important to get vaccinated every year. That way you have the most updated antibodies to fight off the virus. 

“Getting your annual flu vaccine is more important than ever this year. Although the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it does reduce your risk of getting the flu, flu-related complications, and hospitalization, explained Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer, Vincent Marchello, MD. “You can safely get a flu vaccine at multiple locations, including your doctor’s office and pharmacies. Call ahead for more information. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season.”

Wash your Hands Properly 

Did you know that the average person comes in contact with approximately 840,000 germs every 30 minutes? It is estimated that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly, with most people only washing for 6 seconds. Always remember to wash your hands frequently and remember the basics for proper handwashing techniques.

  • This includes washing your hands with cold/warm water, lathering the soap, washing the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds or if you’re teaching children the proper technique, a nice trick is to wash your hands for the duration of time it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. 
  • Of course, most of us are no strangers to washing our hands, but did you know there’s a medically proper way to do so? John Hopkins Medicine launched a video on how to properly wash your hands. This could a great tool for parents teaching their children while flu season is in full effect.

Boost Your Immune System.

Your immune system protects you from any infections, bacterial or viral, so we want to make sure it’s functioning properly. Medical News Today suggests following these strategies:

  • Take Vitamin D – This is important for a strong immune system.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Eat antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from free radical damage. The top antioxidants include: Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and the caratonoids (pre-cursor to vitamin A)-beta-carotene, lutien, lycopene and zeaxanthin
  • Exercise  – According to research, immune cell activity in the blood can increase from 50% to 400%, following exercise, based on intensity. Regular, moderate exercise is the key to maintaining this immune boost.
  • Reduce your stress levels –  Stress can lower the lymphocytes in the body. Lymphocyes are the white blood cells that help fight off infection. If lyphocytes levels are low, the body is more susceptible to infection.
  • Sleep 7-9 hour  – Sleep is very important to a healthy immune system. In one study, individuals who slept less than 6 hours were 4 times as likely to get sick as individuals who slept 7 or more hours.

The Best Immune Boosting Foods

A diet filled with a variety of whole foods including fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood, will do wonders for your immune system and help fight off the flu. Choose from all the colors of the rainbow. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Vitamin A : animal products such as cold fish, liver and egg yolks
  • Vitamin C: sweet red pepper, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, red, green, yellow peppers
  • Vitamin D: A good dose of sunshine will boost your vitamin D. Food sources of Vitamin D include: Salmon, sardines and cod liver oil.
  • Vitamin E: spinach, avocadoes, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark leafy greens
  • Beta-carotene: dark leafy greens and orange produce such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin: dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, eggs, oranges
  • Lycopene: tomatoes, grapefruit, papaya, asparagus, red cabbage, red peppers
  • Zinc: legumes, seeds, nuts, oysters, beef

The Top 4 Natural Immune Boosting Substances

There are many natural substances that can boost the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to illness. However, there are other vitamins, minerals, herbs and natural substances that can do wonders to boost your immune system and protect you from the flu this season. Here are the four of the best substances to include in your immune boosting arsenal:

Vitamin D – Because most individuals are deficient in this very important substance, a dosage of 2000 to 5000 IU/day is advised for most people. Vitamin D3 is highly recommended, as this is the natural source from animal products and easier to absorb. A good food source of vitamin D, as well as vitamin E and A is Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Oil of oregano – This oil is a powerful immune boosting substance. It has been used for over 2500 years as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and an anti-oxidant. The recommended dosage is 4 drops, 4 times per day for 10 days.

Elderberries – Elderberry is a flowering plant native to parts of Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Elderberry syrup is one of the most studied due to its benefits as a powerful immune booster. The berries contain compounds called anthocyadnidins, which have “immunostimulant effects”. Studies show that people treated with elderberry vs a placebo recover faster from flu symptoms. The recommendation is one teaspoon of syrup per day, which can be increased to 3x/day in cases of illness. Elderberry tea, powders and capsules are also available.

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is electrically charged silver nano particles suspended in pure distilled water. Silver has been used to treat disease for more than 6000 years. In fact, it was commonly used as a natural antibiotic as recently as the 1940’s, when modern antibiotics arrived on the scene. It is scientifically proven to be effective against most organisms and pathogens. The recommended dose for immune support is one eye dropper per day.

Soup, Chicken Soup, Eat, Food, Court, Cook, Vegetables

In Conclusion…

There’s an old wives tale that says eating homemade chicken soup when you’re sick will help you get better. While a bowl of soup won’t kill the flu virus, the broth, chicken and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, which will help boost your immune system. The hot soup will lift your spirits, help you destress and may even help you sleep. All of this combined is a recipe for healing.

If you or a loved one does start to feel sick, it is suggested you stay home and quarantine yourself. Whether it’s just the flu or a little cold, with the current state of the pandemic, you wouldn’t want to take a risk.

Happy Holidays from Purple Almond Wellness!

There’s been a change of plans in regards to my blog schedule. Initially, I had planned on being back full time on December 7 after my cataract surgery December 2. They do one eye at a time and the other eye is scheduled for December 16.

As I sat down to do my posts today, I realized just how straining computer work is on the eyes. In reality, I’m trying to do my computer work with one good eye, which is now at 20/25 and the other eye is 20/800. Needless to say, my eyes are really tired and I’m getting a headache. If I’m going to do this right, now is the time to rest my eyes. Now is the time to make sure I do this right.

With that said, I’ve decided to take the remainder of the year off and return, full force, on January 6. I am working on a flu article in conjuction with Fidelis Care. So look for that to be published on January 6, 2021.

Happy holidays!

Winter Celebrations and Holidays from Around the World

No matter where you are around the world, December is a time for celebration. In this post, I’ve included a video which highlights 12 of the celebrations around the world during the months of December and January.

SO, Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Dongzhi, or one of the many other holiday celebrations around the world, I would like to wish all of you a

VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON.

Christmas

Dongzhi

Hanukkah

Christkind

La Befana

Yule Lads

Saturnalia

Hogmanay

Junkanoo

Yule/Yuletide

Kwanza

In this video, we explore 12, unique winter holiday celebrations, (in honor of the 12 days of the Yuletide season or Christmastide)

https://youtu.be/Ioct760wrsY

Closing thoughts

I know I said I’d be back on December 7, 2020. However, I’ve decided that this will be my last post until the new year. I had Cataract surgery on one eye on December 2 and the other eye is scheduled for December 16. As I sat down to do my posts today, for the next few weeks, I realized just how straining computer work is on the eyes. In reality, I’m trying to do my computer work with one good eye, which is now at 20/25 and the other eye is 20/800. Needless to say, my eyes are really tired and I’m getting a headache. If I’m going to do this right, now is the time to rest my eyes.

Happy Holidays

and

I’ll see you in the new year.

Spend Time in the Quiet Each Morning

Try to spend a little bit of your morning in the quiet when you can. This can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. It also gives you some time to think to yourself before the busyness of the day begins. You might like to write out your thoughts, to-do’s, prayers, concerns, or whatever else comes to your mind first thing in the day — do whatever suits you. Taking just 10 minutes each morning, perhaps over coffee, is a great way to take care of yourself in a small way each day.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Do Something Nice for Someone When You Can

Doing something nice for others doesn’t just benefit them but also you too. We’re meant to be giving creatures, yet many of us see giving as a form of sacrifice. This is simply not true. When we give, we get so much more in return in more ways than one. It doesn’t have to be related to money at all either, but could be a simple as sending a card, an email, making a dish for someone, running errand for a friend, sending flowers, taking someone to lunch, or even just letting someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Or, give to an animal organization, volunteer at one, or just do something to promote cultural awareness and animal welfare. Doing small things for the good of others on a regular basis is an important part of long-term wellness.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Learn to Love Sleep

Sleep is a gift, something that’s just as important as the food on our plate and our exercise habits. It’s the time of the day that our body resets itself, detoxifies, and allows us to be able to conquer the next day ahead. Depression, weight gain, stress, and even food cravings can all occur when we don’t get enough rest. For some of us, our sleep needs may be 8 hours, and others it could be 9 or 10… get enough until you wake up at the same time each day without the need for an alarm clock.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Eat Good Fats

Healthy fats are like fuel for a good mood. They’re one of the most important things to include in your diet to promote a healthy mood (and a balanced metabolism). Healthy fats also promote good heart health, reduce cholesterol, and contain none of the harmful side effects associated with animal-based saturated fats. Go for raw coconut, avocados, almonds, walnuts, acai fruit, flax seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or tahini, pecans, and olives. 

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Eat for Your Hormone Health

Our hormones completely control how we feel, act, think, and even how we treat others. And guess what controls our hormones for the most part? Aside from sleep and our lifestyle, our diets do. Though rest, stress management, and staying active play a part, nothing acts like directions for your cells like your food does. Certain foods can disrupt hormonal function and possibly even lead to mood disorders, anxiety, or depression. Some of the most common foods to avoid are: dairy, gluten, processed foods, and sugar.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Don’t Over Sit Your Welcome

We need to stand more throughout the day, even if that’s while chatting with friends, talking on the phone, or just getting up in between nightly relaxing activities before bed. If you like to watch television, be sure not to sit there for hours on end while doing so. If you work at a computer all day, get up and move around or try to stand and work however possible. Sitting too long makes you tired, can cause brain fog, increases your insulin levels, and slows down your metabolism. It can even lead to a bad mood, and antsy nature. The body likes to move; give it what it needs.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/