Flu Fighters: 15 Doctor-Recommended Ways to Fight the Flu Using a Holistic Approach by Dr. Christopher Calapai
There are many things we can do to “flu proof” ourselves. Regardless of whether you choose to get a flu vaccine or not, there are things we can do to improve our chances of not getting sick, using a more holistic approach. Here's a comprehensive list of 15 to-do's to fight the flu:
- Keep your surroundings clean, wipe surfaces at work, keep your mobile phone clean. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), viruses can survive on a surface for up to eight hours.
- Wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer. Remember that the workplace and public spaces are a hotbed for germs. This is where the hand washing comes into play.
- Increase intake of vitamin D, C, E and A. Include foods such as red bell peppers (add to salads), sweet potatoes, chicken soup, salmon and garlic. Research shows that keeping vitamin D levels at 80 ng/ml or so decreases the risk of catching the flu and swine flu.
- Bring your own lunch to work, where you can control food prep and ensure surfaces are clean.
- Get a full night's sleep. When you feel run down, you're more susceptible to illness.
- Work from home when feeling sick. These days, it's easier for people to work from home at the slightest signs of cold or flu.
- Eat kimchi! It’s delicious and a great probiotic, which boosts immunity.
- Add mushrooms to your meal. Packed with selenium, they’re an immunity booster.
- Sip black or green tea rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, which ward off illness as well as L-theanine, an immunity-boosting amino acid. Green and black tea are also packed with polyphenols and flavonoids.
- Munch on sweet potato fries, which are high in vitamin C, which helps us fight off bacteria and viruses.
- Don’t touch your face, especially the eyes. The average person touches their face around 15 times per hour! It’s something we do unconsciously, so if we can be more aware of face touching, the more we can stop.
- Soup it up! Chicken, veggie noodle or ginger garlic soup may help fight flu and sinus infection.
- Exercise regularly! Doing 30 minutes of moderate cardio per day is optimal to enhance the performance of infection fighting white blood cells.
- Go hands free on the smartphone. When we put our phones down and then pick them up or touch them, this is where viruses can spread. Using earbuds and cleaning the phone with a device-friendly cleaner will help.
- Lose the booze. You really want to cut back on alcohol consumption during flu season. It dehydrates us and lowers our immunity, so our ability to fight off viruses is impaired.
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