Flu Prevention – By: Allie Barone
- Thursday, January 25, 2018
- Posted by Krisanne Butler in Lifestyle
It seems you can hardly go anywhere without hearing about this year’s flu. Records show that this flu season has been one of the worst in history. They are calling it an “epidemic”. Although many people around us may be sick, it is not impossible to stay healthy during this season. There are many simple things you can do to boost your immune system so that you can either avoid getting sick, or have an easier time getting rid of this bug. Many immune-boosting remedies can even be found in your own home! Here are some of our favorite tips for feeling your best this winter!
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Our grandmothers knew that the secret to a healthy immune system was a big pot of homemade chicken soup. When we cook broth using the bones and joints of healthy animals it provides us with incomparable nutrients for the immune health. Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut? This means that what we eat is important! Once your homemade broth is made, you can sip it throughout the day (think, warm nourishing drink), or make a powerful soup with it! Add plenty of garlic, wild mushrooms, and onion for even more flu-busting ingredients! We are blessed to live in an area with plenty of great farm stands that are open all year round. We love Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton for our seasonal goods.
Limit Sugar (This Means Alcohol… )
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but some of our favorite treats may not be helping us to stay healthy. We all had plenty of sugar and alcoholic beverages over the holidays, and our body takes a toll from the stress. Infections feed off sugar, so the best way to make your body a healthier environment is to avoid these foods, and drinks. You can still have a sweet treat here or there but if you are really trying to stay in perfect health, limit them as much as possible. A dry glass of organic red wine may be the best option for you right now! Choose to eat fresh foods prepared at home. It is a great time to load up on the great winter vegetables available!
One of the reason that the flu spreads so viciously is that we are less likely to open windows, or spend time outdoors in the winter. The air is stale, and germs can spread easily. If at all possible get outside! This is a great time of year for snowy walks! On the warmer days, open your window and let some fresh air circulate throughout the house. You can even buy an air purifier for areas of the home or office that is seems impossible to get fresh air in! Don’t be afraid of the cold air… sometimes it can help boost our immune system even more!
Move It, Move It
Admit it, many of us become less active in the colder months. We like to snuggle up and hibernate. It truly is wonderful to embrace the winter season in this way, but we need to remember the importance of exercise. When we move our bodies, and sweat we activate our lymphatic system. This means draining any creepy crawlers that may be trying to attack our immune system. If you become sick, certainly take your time to rest but otherwise continue to find a way to exercise that you love. For some, this means more time at the gym, for others it may mean skiing, snowshoeing, or a nice winter hike. Whatever way you can, move those bones! Take the dog for a walk through Maudslay State Park, or take the kids for a ski lesson at Bradford Ski!
Definitely plan to make self-care a priority during this time. Treat yourself to a hot detox bath! Add ¼ cup of baking soda, and ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to your next bath for detoxifying properties. Be sure to sleep when you are tired, and to go the extra mile rub a little peppermint essential oil on the bottom of your feet to fight off possible infections. Self-care also means saying “no” to plans when you feel like you should be relaxing. This may also be a great time to treat yourself to a massage or a trip to the spa. Check out Spa Nijoli in Methuen for some seriously decadent services!
Hopefully following some of these ideas will help keep you free of the flu this year. Be sure to share these ideas with your family, friends, and especially co-workers. One of the most important things to remember is that if you do get sick, stay home and encourage others to do the same. It is not worth it to bring the flu into the workplace or to the family party.