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.

The 4 Best Immune Boosters & Protectors to Take RIGHT NOW!

Last week, I talked about boosting your vitamin C intake by using the powerful little Camu Camu berry. We all know that 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 onslaught of colds, the flu and, of course, the Corona Virus aka: COVID-19. In fact, there are many, many natural substances that help in this area, but today, I’ve limited it to four of the very best:

  • vitamin D
  • oil of oregano
  • elderberries
  • colloidal silver

Vitamin D ~ The Sunshine “vitamin”

It may surprise you, but vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. Most vitamins and minerals required by the body must be consumed, because the body does not make the substance. Vitamin D is different in this regard and is more like a hormone. The body actually makes vitamin D in our skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. You may guess, therefore, that most humans are deficient in this all important substance, due to our lack of exposure to sunlight and poor diets.

Vitamin D is crucial for many activities in the body, today, we are especially concerned with the immune system. One study indicated that individuals deficient in vitamin D were more susceptible to respiratory infection than those with sufficient levels.

Here are a few other facts about vitamin D:
  • Every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor!
  • It is estimated that as many as 2000 genes or 1/6 of the human genome is either directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D.
  • The digestive system cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is crucial to bone health
  • Plays a critical role in the immune system
  • Vitamin D is important in the reduction of infectious diseases in the body
Supplements and dosages:

Because most individuals are deficient in this very important substance, a dosage of 2000 to 5000 IU/day is recommended for most people. I HIGHLY recommend vitamin D3, as this is the natural source from animal products. Try to avoid vitamin D2 if possible. The D3 version is easier for the body to absorb.

Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU

If you’d like a whole food source of not only vitamin D, but vitamin A and vitamin E as well, I HIGHLY recommend BLUE ICE FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL from Green Pastures. I personally take this every day along with a D3 supplement during cold/flu season.

Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Oil of Oregano

To be honest, I wasn’t that familiar with oil of oregano, and had to do a bit of research. It turns out this is powerful stuff! It is by far one of the most impressive herbal supplements I’ve seen. It has been used as a medicinal substance for more than 2500 years! Here are just some of the things it does for you:

  • supports immune system
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-parasitie
  • anti-viral
  • powerful antioxidant
  • promotes mood balance
  • aids digestion
  • allergy support
  • weight loss support
  • helps with herpes and other lip blemishes
  • promotes intestinal balance
  • normalize yeast balance
  • healthy liver support
Sources and uses:

The Healthy Oil Planet website recommends asking these specific questions when looking for an oil of oregano supplement:

  1. How much Active Ingredients are in the oil? – The active ingredients in the oil is carvacrol and thymol. Caracrol is the ingredient responsible for the anti-microbial activity of the oil. Therefore, any oil should have high concentrations of cararo.
  2. What is the Plant Source? You’ll want to make sure the plants that made the oil are: grown wild on native soils, handpicked, pesticide and herbicide-free, grown in an ecologically-conscious manner with conservation programs in place.
  3. What’s the overall Purity and Quality? Look for the following: Are the oils GMP (good manufacturing practice)-certified? Is it additive-free? Steam-distilled oils are higher purity; Free of solvents; Non-irradiated; 100% natural; Unprocessed and raw
  4. What form do you want: Liquids or Capsules?

Dr. Axe recommends taking 4 drops 4 times daily for 10 days. It can also be used topically on fungus or herpes cold sores.

Source Naturals Oil of Oregano

Elderberries

Elderberry is a flowering plant native to parts of Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. There are many species of elderberry, but black elderberries are the most commonly used. The berries and flowers are used in medicine, while the bark, roots and leaves are toxic and should be avoided. Elderberries have been used for a long time in wine, jams, jellies and, syrup, which is most common today.

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. Here are some elderberry benefits:

  • cold & flu relief
  • reduce sinus infection symptoms
  • lowers blood sugar
  • a natural diuretic (promotes the production of urine)
  • relieves constipation
  • improves skin health
  • helps relieve allergies
  • possible cancer fighting benefits
  • improved cardiovascular health
Uses, supplement sources, and cautions:

The most common use of elderberries is as a syrup. The recommendation is one teaspoon per day, which can be increased to 3x/day in cases of illness. Elderberry tea, powders and capsules are also available.

While elderberries have many potential benefits, there are a few things of which to be aware:

  • Only eat ripe, COOKED berries. Raw berries should be avoided due to a cyanide-inducing chemical contained in the berries. This can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Purchasing commercially prepared syrups, jams, and jellies are generally safe.
  • Elderflowers and berries can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you are susceptible to allergies, use caution.
  • Elderberry syrup is NOT recommended for children, unless advised by a doctor.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid elderberries, due to lack of available research on effects to fetal health.
  • Due to the immune stimulating effects, individuals with autoimmune disorders should use caution and seek advice from a doctor.
  • Can interact with some medications including: diabetes meds, other diuretics, immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, and laxatives

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup

Celebration Herbals Organic Elderberry Tea

Colloidal Silver

silver nanoparticles attacking a bacteria

I’ve save the best for last. Colloidal silver is something everyone should have in their medicine cabinets. I must admit this one is new for me as well. But as I was doing research for this article, colloidal silver kept coming up as a “must have” for immune boosting and protecting substances. As a member of the wellness community, I’ve heard of it, but dismissed it as something silly or misleading in terms of benefits to human health. But as I did research, I was continually impressed and proven wrong.

So, what exactly is colloidal silver? Basically, colloidal silver is electrically charged silver nano particles suspended in pure distilled water. You’ve more than likely heard the phrase “born with a silver spoon in your mouth”. This phrase stemmed from the knowledge that using silver in the consumption of food, was beneficial to human health. If you’ve used silver to eat, you’ve no doubt ingested silver nanoparticles.

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. Here are some benefits of colloidal silver:

  • natural antibiotic
  • natural antimicrobial
  • natural antiviral
  • help with wound care
  • improved skin health
  • possible help with pink eye/ear infections
  • anti-inflammatory
  • known to help with sinusitis
  • helps with cold/flu
  • helps with pneumonia, bronchitis

Uses, cautions and sources:

Colloidal silver may be taken/used in the following ways:

  • 2–5 drops applied on skin
  • to support the immune system take 1 eyedropper orally
  • 1–2 drops into eyes for pink eye
  • disinfect woulds by applying 1–2 drops on a bandaid
  • 5 drops added into a neti pot or directly sprayed into the nose to treat sinusitis

While the benefits are widely known, the safety of colloidal silver is controversial and still up for debate. Many scientists believe colloidal silver interferes with certain drugs. However, as of the writing of this article, there is no research suggesting this is true.

When looking for colloidal silver, make sure the company is reputable and uses a good quality silver source. Poor quality supplements can lead to a condition called “argyria”, which actually turns the skin blue. Good quality colloidal silver WILL NOT turn your skin blue! Here are a few other things to look for in a good quality colloidal silver supplement, from Global Healing:

  • Purity matters – pure water is extremely important for this process to work.
  • Proper electrical charge is necessary. It isn’t enough to simply have silver nanoparticles in distilled water. Colloidal silver works because the electrical charge is attracted to the bad microbes. Therefore, the silver must have a proper electrical charge
  • Use a supplement created using a “high voltage” process. You will, no doubt, find equipment and videos indicating you can make your own colloidal silver. While technically possible, “homemade” versions, using low voltage, will not have the same health effects.

Sovereign Silver Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol

Note: I looked at many lists and sites highlighting the best colloidal silver and this one was on every list and stood out as being the best. The key to this one is “bio-active”, which means it has the proper and important electrical charge.

Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally | Mama Natural

With the current scare with COVID-19 (AKA-CoronaVirus), we need all the help we can get to boost our immunity. Next week, I will do an in depth, thoroughly researched article on immunity and boosting your immune system.

Immune system, Be kind and Anxiety on Pinterest

However, for today, I am posting this wonderful article by Mama Natural, which gives some great tips on natural ways to boost immunity.  (It’s my better half’s birthday today, so I am spending the day with him, which is why I’m posting this today) Follow the link below for  the main article. 

medical science - Can optimism "boost" the immune system ...

“Desperately trying to ward off a cold? Up your chances of staying healthy by learning how to boost your immune system naturally.”

Immune System Quotes & Sayings | Immune System Picture Quotes

Here is the link to the main article: How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally | Mama Natural

Homemade Immune Boosting Gummy Bears

Since winter is setting in, that must mean cold and flu season is here as well. This week, I’m focusing on immune boosting recipes. You don’t need to wait until you’re sick to enjoy these super healthy recipes!

Today we have, healthy homemade immune boosting gummy bears, made by her kids.  She includes a free printable PDF of the recipe.

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You will find the video below, and the full recipe HERE.

You MUST watch the video…SO CUTE!!!

For the recipe and her free printable, scroll down!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE HERE!

 

Flu & Cold Wellness Tea

Since winter is setting in, that must mean cold and flu season is here as well. This week, I’m focusing on immune boosting recipes. You don’t need to wait until you’re sick to enjoy these super healthy recipes!

Today we have, Flu & Cold Wellness Tea (AKA: Immune boosting Turmeric Tea)

You will find the video below, and the full recipe HERE.

As always, if you wish to go directly to the recipe, scroll down.

Flu & Cold Wellness Tea

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Credit: http://www.flavcity.com
Equipment: Large pot, strainer, spoon, knife

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of water
  • The yellow peel of 1 lemon use a veggie peeler
  • 2 inch piece of turmeric root cut in thin rounds. No need to peel the skin (can be found at Whole Foods – otherwise use 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger cut in thin rounds. No need to peel the skin
  • Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 crack of black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil optional
  • Raw Honey

Directions

  1. Put first 5 ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer for 7 minutes. (don’t boil. According to flavcity.com, this destroys the nutrients in the turmeric)
  2. Remove from heat and strain.
  3. Allow the tea to cool slightly. Pour into a cup and add the honey.
  4. The remaining tea will keep for up to 3 days.
  5. http://www.thepurplealmond.com

Immune Boosting Green Soup

Since winter is setting in, that must mean cold and flu season is here as well. This week, I’m focusing on immune boosting recipes. You don’t need to wait until you’re sick to enjoy these super healthy recipes!

Today, we have Immune Boosting Green Soup from simpleveganblog.com. I have adjusted her recipe slightly, recommending the use of BONE BROTH, instead of water or veggie broth.  Bone broth is much healthier, especially if someone is ill. You will find her video below, and her full recipe HERE.

As always, if you wish to go directly to the recipe, scroll down.

Immune Boosting Green Soup

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Credit: simpleveganblog.com
Equipment: Large pot, blender, knife

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 chopped leek
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped
  • 3 handfuls of fresh kale or spinach
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water/vegetable broth (TIP FROM TAMARA: BONE BROTH IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED due to it’s high concentration of nutrients which boost immunity)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • -1 tsp sea salt -ground pepper to taste -4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • The juice of half a lemon

Directions

  1. Combine first 11 ingredients in a pot, bring to boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, and cook til veggies are desired doneness.
  3. Pour contents of pot into a large blender, and add lemon juice and yeast. Blend til desired consistency.
  4. If you choose not to blend, add the yeast and lemon juice to the pot prior to serving.
  5. http://www.thepurplealmond.com

How to make immune boosting juice

Since winter is setting in, that must mean cold and flu season is here as well. This week, I’m focusing on immune boosting recipes. You don’t need to wait until you’re sick to enjoy these super healthy recipes!

First up: Immune Boosting Juice from howdini.com! If you’d like to skip to the recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the page!

Immune Boosting Juice

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Got the sniffles? Feel a cold or the flu coming on? This juice is packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to boost your immune system. No juicer? no worries! Use a blender and some cheese cloth!


Credit: howdini.com
Equipment: Juicer or blender & cheese cloth

Ingredients

  • Water – enough to cover blade of blender (if using)
  • 1/2 lemon & 1/2 orange – peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium apple – chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 carrots – chopped
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Juice all ingredients or blend them in a blender.
  2. If juicing, mix cayenne in after juicing
  3. If blending you have 2 choices – drink as a smoothie OR strain through a cheese cloth, as seen in the above video!
  4. Pour over ice and enjoy!.
  5. http://www.thepurplealmond.com