The flu is currently widespread across the country so it may be only a matter of time before the dreaded bug hits your own household. However, there are some proactive measures you can take to help protect you and your family.
Fuel up on healthy eats. Seventy percent of the immune system lies in the digestive tract, so incorporating nutritious options into your family’s diet becomes even more vital this time of year. Try adding good-for-you options like the maitake mushroom. Extracts of this mushroom have been found to stimulate phagocytes, white blood cells that target bacteria. One study found that combining maitake extracts and the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha helped reduce stress and boost immunity. Foods rich in vitamin C such as strawberries, oranges and garlic are also believed to be beneficial for the immune system.
Wash your hands thoroughly. Properly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, the length of the “Happy Birthday” song, is one practical way to fight flu germs. When lathering up, avoid antibacterial soaps containing triclosan. Studies have shown that these cleansers may lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and possibly have a negative effect on the immune system.
Sleep well. Sleep is vital in helping the body ward off and recover from illnesses. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night; teens eight to 10 hours; school-age children nine to 11 hours; and, toddlers 11 to 14 hours. One study found that not getting enough sleep for just two nights had a negative impact on the immune system. Even when the participants returned to their regular sleep schedule, some immune system cells did not return to their normal levels.
Keep a homeopathic medicine on hand. If you or a family member starts to feel fatigued or run down, a homeopathic medicine like Oscillococcinum can help nip symptoms in the bud. Oscillococcinum has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.*
For more tips, videos and recipes to help keep your family well through the flu season and beyond, visit Oscillo.com/wellness.
National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times. National Sleep Foundation - Sleep Research & Education. https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times. Published February 2015. Accessed January 19, 2017.
Steckelberg JM. Triclosan: Is it safe? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/triclosan/faq-20057861. Published September 21, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017.
Rosen LD, Cohen J. Treatment alternatives for children. New York: Alpha Books; 2012.
Cline J. Flu Season and Sleep. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleepless-in-america/201412/flu-season-and-sleep. Published December 31, 2014. Accessed February 1, 2017.