The flu is a miserable virus that strikes anywhere from 5% to 20% of the U.S. population each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually. Symptom of the flu include fever, chills, fatigue, nausea, coughing, a sore throat, a runny or stuffed up nose, headaches, general body aches, and, in children, diarrhea. These symptoms can move beyond mild to debilitating, and if they grow too severe, may even cause death.
When is the flu season?
You can catch the flu at any time; however, the season when the virus is most active runs from late October into early May. The peak period during that time is from December to March. Flu loves the cold!
Complications of the flu – who’s at risk?
Most of the time, people who get the flu recover in just a few days, and two weeks is generally the maximum duration of the illness. However, complications can occur that may lead to hospitalization or death.
Because the flu is a respiratory disease, pneumonia is a definite threat, as is bronchitis. The ears and sinuses are also subject to infections.
Even someone who is healthy can get the flu or be affected by flu related problems. Those most at risk are people 65 years and over, expectant mothers, and the very young. People who have chronic health problems may find their health problems worsened by a flu infection. A person with asthma may have increased attacks, while someone with chronic congestive heart failure may suffer an intensification of their condition due to flu.
Natural immune boosters for flu prevention!
Traditionally doctors recommend the flu shot, but even under the best conditions a flu shot only delivers a 50 to 60% effectiveness rate. (This is when the flu shot is a good match for the current variety of flu.) According to the CDC, “During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed.” For these reasons it makes sense to take natural immune boosters during flu season.
These are simple steps easy for anyone to follow:
- Eat nutritionally rich foods and exercise regularly. If your body and systems are in good condition, even if you contract the flu you’ll be in a better position to fight it off or prevent complications.
- Manage your stress. Your body’s resistance lowers when your emotions are out of control.
- Don’t spread germs by coughing without covering your mouth!
- A really important point: wash your hands. Use soap and wash vigorously for several minutes. This is considered one of the best protections against flu germs.
Additionally, there are a wide variety of vitamins and herbs that are natural immune boosters.
- Echinacea – may help boost the immune system and fight infections. Use it when you begin to feel bad and keep taking it for seven to 10 days.
- Zinc is believed to inhibit viruses from achieving full cell access, so it may offer flu protection. A zinc supplement is fine, but even better is to eat zinc rich foods such as wheat germ, oysters, lamb, lean beef short ribs, spinach, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
- Garlic has anti-microbial properties, which means it can help fight certain viruses. Try it as seasoning with those short ribs or with a steaming bowl of chicken soup, which is also considered an excellent way to battle illness.
- Take a vitamin C supplement or eat vitamin C rich foods such as strawberries, lemons, oranges, dark leafy greens, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, or chili peppers.
- Boost your immune system by using vitamins B6 and B12.
- Mushrooms also boost the immune system and they can be delicious alone or eaten with other foods.
One product that we like and recommend is Epimune Complex, a vegetarian immune support supplement. This remarkable supplement contains EpiCor® along with maitake and turkey tail mushrooms.
Recorded in use for medicinal purposes in Asia between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D, Maitake mushrooms are natural immune boosters. The mushrooms were made into a powder thought to ease spleen and stomach problems, as well as serve as a calming element for the nerves. Epimune Complex contains a patented extract from the maitake mushrooms called MaitakeGold404. This formula also contains turkey tail mushrooms which are often used in Asian medicine for vigor and energy. Vitamin C is incorporated for its antioxidant value.
This complex delivers strong support for the respiratory system.
The flu is an unpleasant problem to deal with at any time, at any age. To lessen your potential to get the flu, follow the suggestions above. And remember, Epimune Complex can help keep your immune system strong throughout the winter and well beyond. .